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Online dangers cause students to think twice about posting information, p. C4-C5 Section C James Hubert Blake High School December 16, 2011 Blake 2010 alumna overcomes teen pregnancy obstacles Barnett feels motivated to raise her toddler while attending college xby David Hylton & Rachel Jaffe Health classes all over the nation show statistics that stress how teen pregnancy can be a difficult and overall detrimental situation for those who are affected by it. Class of 2010 alumna Natalie Barnett, however, has been able to find light with her junior year pregnancy and how it has changed her life. When Barnett found out that she was pregnant in October of her junior year, her life took a turn that she believes was for the better. She says, “I feel like such a better person…the joys of having my daughter outweighs any of the chaotic moments [I] have had.” Surprisingly and proudly, Barnett does not get offended when people say that teenage pregnancies are mistakes. She agrees that the pregnancy itself may be a mistake, but the baby should be viewed separately. “Babies are a blessing no matter the circumstance,” she says. “They are innocent and have no idea about the situation, so it’s unfair to say anything bad about them.” While Barnett has dealt incredibly well in balancing her college education and motherhood, there were many difficulties that she faced because of her pregnancy in high school. “It was hard telling my family,” she recalls. “The worst feeling in the world is feeling like you disappointed the people you love.” Despite her family’s initial reaction, they ended up being very supportive and encouraged Barnett to keep her baby. Babies are a blessing no matter the circumstance. They are innocent and have no idea about the situation. Natalie Barnett With the support of her friends and teachers, Barnett says that the Blake community was very supportive of her pregnancy. She did find it necessary, however, to be homeschooled for the second half of her junior year due to the physical discomfort her pregnancy brought. Currently, Barnett commutes to college classes in order to pursue her dreams while living at home with her mom and her daughter, Keira. “I will never forget the day I was told that I wouldn’t do anything with my life and that I was just going to become another statistic,” says Barnett. “Keira is my motivation to keep all things possible in my reach. I don’t doubt myself or my abilities to have a good job and [to] be able to support myself and Keira because I know I can do it.” Non-exclusive Bengals cannot commit, would rather ‘hit and quit’ by Larisha Winley x & Leisha Winley Forget candlelit dinners and late nights snuggling on the couch. Nowadays, Bengals ‘hit it and quit it’ without as much as a hello. Non-exclusive dating. Past the point of ‘talking‘, but still no titles. The new-age way of having a relationship. “Some people like being in a committed relationship, and maybe that works for them,” says junior Monica Webb*. “But high school relationships don’t last. I don’t see the point of putting myself out there and being exclusive with someone if we’re most likely not going to last.” Many students have found that having a non-exclusive relationship lessens the stress that is usually present in committed relationships. “I’m a senior in high school and New epidemic hits Blake, curious students choose to swim their way through dating pool, remain single there’s no point in starting a relationship when I’m leaving for college in a couple months,” says senior Walter Jacobs*. Other reasons students have chosen to be in non-exclusive relationships are, avoiding the break up and any emotional damage an exclusive relationship may cause, not being tied down but still being able to do the “relationship stuff.” Dating has simply become getting to know someone without a commitment. “Not all people can be in a nonexclusive relationship,” warns Jacobs who names jealousy as the biggest problem with non-exclusive dating. Senior Josh Chang believes nonexclusive relationships go against the very nature of relationships, which Chang defines as a commitment between two people. “Non-exclusive dating kills love that is so integral to relationships,” says Chang. “[It] breaks trust bonds and [increases] jealousy issues.” Senior Amanie Musa views nonexclusive dating as “unstable,” adding, “it allows for an uncommitted relationship and doesn’t teach people about the responsibilities of being in a true relationship.” While some students see many benefits in having a non-exclusive relationship, others see it as beneficial for only one partner. “Non-exclusive dating is basically friends with benefits,” says junior Debbie Corn*. “It’s just a way for guys to use girls.” However, these relationships can take a turn for the worse when one of the participants wants to make things official. Webb is currently dealing with the downside of her non-exclusive relationship. “I wish I could say we were on the same page but he wants something more serious; and maybe we’re working towards that by just dating, but for now I hope [he‘s okay with] being relaxed.” *Names have been changed

The December 16 Issue Part Two

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