Peer Pressure: “I Just Want to Fit In”

iStock_000013820022Small-600x250By: Andreea Nicolaie

“Hey, did you see I just upgraded to the new iPhone 5c?” “Look, my mom just bought me the newest action figure.” “C’mon, try it, no big deal.”

Nowadays, it’s all about who has the coolest shoes, the most friends, and who hangs out the most on weekends. Many people, especially teens, are so caught up with the idea of fitting in or following the stereotype. Being original these days is seen as weird or obnoxious. According to the Oxford Dictionary, peer pressure is the “influence from members of one’s peer group.” This basically means that the friends in one group are forcing others to do something or making the victim feel guilty in a way, so they give in. Sometimes peer pressure results in doing things by giving in, which usually results in the victim feeling regret or disappointment. Although it is natural, especially for a teen, to listen to their friends and copy everything they do, it comes with a conflict.

Those who are lucky have friends that support them, listen to them, allow them to be different. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. The negative side of listening to one’s friends and relying on everything they say may result in consequences. Friends can encourage you to steal, smoke, drink, ditch school/class, or have you engage in other risky behavior. The victim most likely is aware of all the consequences, however, they are afraid that they won’t be “cool enough” anymore, that they will lose their status, that all their friends will leave them, and the list can go on forever. But in reality, is this all important? Is putting your life and reputation at stake worth it for the “heat of the moment?” Although it is difficult, you should always walk away from situations that make you uncomfortable. True friends will never pressure you into doing something you will regret.



I Hate My Neck! How Does It Affect Me?

neck2By: Nichelle Wooden

My name is Nichelle I’m entering into my senior year of high school and I live with a minor Thyroid condition. To the left is what my neck currently looks like. Compared to the average neck, my neck isn’t smooth, but is rather bumpy from the top of neck down. My condition is harmless, however, some research indicates that this may actually cause some fatigue.

What affects me more than anything is the physical appearance. When I take pictures I’m hesitant of the angle of my neck and the position so that people won’t see what it looks like. I wear a lot of shirts that start at the neckline, and I tend to stray away from tops that have lower cuts like v-necks.

What scares me is when I do get people who notice it and they ask questions that I’m not always comfortable enough to answer such as:

  • Why is your neck that way?
  • Does it hurt?
  • Why isn’t it smooth?
  • Do you have an infection?

What people don’t get is that it’s really hard dealing with something like this because it’s right there for everyone to see. There are times when I’m not confident and I feel completely disgusted with my looks. It’s hard being young and dealing with other things as well. So to those out there you’re who have a Thyroid condition, you’re not alone we can fight through it together.

I Hate My Neck! It All Begins With the Thyroid

neck1By: Nichelle Wooden

Before I cram your mind with a bunch of enormously huge words and a complicated diagram, here is just a simple picture of where the Thyroid is located, what it is, and a little background information.

According to WebMD, “the Thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland that sits low on the front of the neck. Your thyroid lies below your Adam’s apple, along the front of the windpipe.” Thyroids are located in both men and women and lie in the same area.

The primary function of the thyroid is to stimulate and maintain metabolic processes through the production and release of hormones. Three hormones produced by the thyroid are thyroxine (T4), triiodothyronine (T3) and calcitonin.

Any major disruption in the thyroid can cause major problems such as hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. It can progress into cancer in a number of conditions: 1) Papillary: this begins in follicular cells and usually grows slowly, and can be cured; 2) Follicular: this also deals with the follicular cells and treatment is available; 3) Medullary: this begins in C cells and can cause abnormally high levels of calcitonin; this can be treated; and 4) Anaplastic: this cancer begins in follicular cells of the thyroid and the cancer cells tend to grow and spread very quickly; Anaplastic thyroid cancer is very hard to control.

Clearly this is an issue that effects many men and women and shouldn’t be taken lightly. It shuts down the body, harms the hormones, and leaves the patients with an emotional reminder of what it means to have a Thyroid condition.

The Importance of Sunscreen

By: Alice Liang

Everyone loves summer. It’s a time when school is out and there’s no work to do. It’s a carefree time to relax, have fun, and be with friends and family. The last thing on your mind is putting on sunscreen on a daily basis. Although it might be the last thing on your mind, it should be the first thing on your face! Sunscreen is really important, especially in the summertime because overexposure to the sun’s harmful rays can cause skin cancer!

Here’s a quick video on sunscreen. It explains the different types in depth and is very informative.

How to Treat and Prevent Acne

how-to-prevent-PIMPLE1By: Alice Liang

Most teenagers have acne. It’s a sad fact. Even some adults have acne too. Acne can be painful and embarrassing, but there’s nothing to be ashamed about. Mostly everyone gets acne sometime in their life. But acne does hurt some teens’ self esteem. I think the most important thing to do is to treat the acne and prevent new acne from forming. You might be asking, “How I can do this?” Well, the first thing is to wash your face. Simple right? You should try to find a cleanser that works with your skin type. A cleanser with salicylic acid should help with acne. If your skin doesn’t react to salicylic acid, try benzoyl peroxide. This ingredient in acne products also helps fight acne. Skipping exfoliation can help with acne too. A little bit of exfoliation is good, but you don’t need anything with beads in it that is really abrasive.

After you find the perfect skin care routine for your skin, the next step is to look at your makeup products and hair products. It’s really important you clean your makeup brushes and tools once a week with a cleanser. They can hold on to lots of disgusting bacteria and dirt that can be causing you to break out. When using hair products, like hair spray, make sure you’re spraying it on your hair and not on your skin. Hair products contain aggravating ingredients that can clog your pores, so be careful where you put that stuff!

You should also clean anything that touches your skin on a regular basis. This can be your cell phone, sunglasses, etc.

The most important tip to remember is to never pop your pimples–this can be very irritating to the skin and can leave permanent scars. Also, remember to keep your hands off your face! Think about everything you touched during the day. You might have been holding onto the dirty train poles. You don’t know what kind of nasty bacteria is on the pole. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want that on my face!

Healthy Skin is Happy Skin

Skin-care-myths-2By: Alice Liang

Skin is your body’s largest organ. It is very important to take care of your skin. Unhealthy skin tends to look really dull and lacks a glow. Skin loses elasticity when it is unhealthy causing it to sag and appear thin. Wrinkles also develop when your skin is unhealthy and dehydrated. Who wants that?! Unhealthy skin is also more susceptible to disease and infections. Poor skin care can lead to rashes, sores, acne, and wrinkles. YUCK! Proper skin care is vital if you’re concerned with your physical appearance.

There are many ways to keep your skin looking young and fresh with things you can do every day! Skin is constantly growing and changing so keeping to a strict skin care routine is a must!

Here are some tips on getting healthy, glowing skin!!

1)    Wash your face two times a day (morning and night) with a mild, gentle cleanser.

2)    Wash your body with a gentle, moisturizing body wash every day.

3)    Moisturize! Every time you get out of the shower, moisturize your whole body. After washing your face, moisturize!

4)    Protect your skin from the sun. Use a sunscreen containing at least SPF 30 and wear protective clothing. Exposure to the sun can cause premature wrinkles!

5)    Don’t pick at your face or at acne.

6)    Don’t smoke! It’s bad for your lungs and also your skin! Smoking can make you look older and contributes to wrinkles.

7)    Eat a healthy diet! Eat lots of fruits, veggies, whole grains, and lean proteins.

8)    Drink lots of water! This helps keep your skin and body hydrated.

Your Menstrual Cycle: Disorders (Part II)

aaaabbBy: Rosa Velazquez

Besides menstrual disorders, there are other separate disorders related to menstruation that can cause you to experience an abnormal menstrual cycle. Having a mother with hyperthyroidism, an aunt who requires hormone replacement, and another aunt who had ovarian cancer, I have learned a lot about such disorders that can cause menstrual problems. Not a lot of girls and women, however, know of these disorders.

Knowing whether or not you have a medical disorder is important. Some disorders can actually limit your fertility, such as Poly-Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), and maybe even contribute to heart disease.

The following list contains some disorders that affect menstrual cycles:

  1. PCOS. Poly-Cystic Ovarian Syndrome causes small cysts to grow on your ovaries. The cysts themselves may not be harmful, but they cause hormone imbalances that can cause diabetes and heart disease later on (WebMD).
  2. Hyperthyroidism. This disorder is characterized by an over-active thyroid, leading to irregularities in hormone levels and irregular periods. It can also lead to infertility (Medscape).
  3. Hypothyroidism. This disorder is characterized by an under-active thyroid, also causing irregularities in hormone levels and abnormal menstrual cycles. If untreated, this disorder can actually lead to a deadly, although rare, disease called myxedema coma (WebMD).
  4. Endometriosis. Endometriosis is a disorder in which the inner lining tissue of the uterus grows outside the uterus. It is known to cause severe pain during the menstrual cycle, and has been shown to weaken fertility (MayoClinic).

There are many more disorders other than these listed that can not only affect your menstrual cycle, but the quality of your life. So if you suspect something may be wrong with your menstrual cycle, seek a doctor.

You also may not think your skipped-for-many-months period is hurting you (you may even find it as a relief!) and you may not think your too light of blood flow is bad. But you should seek medical attention anyway, because you never know if your irregular period now can lead to a more serious problem, like cancer, in your future. So get checked!