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Seniorland Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School

Volume 24

No. 6

It’s our castle now We may not consider high school to be the happiest place on Earth, but we can agree that the four years we have spent at Douglas have inspired us to allow all of our dreams to come true. As we leap into adulthood, it is the perfect time to look back on our childhood experiences and reflect upon how they will shape our futures. School is just a single stop on our Carousel of Progress, but its influence will help lead us to our happily ever after. While in high school, we witnessed a lot of firsts – the first African American president (and Disney princess), the first class to use the 1200s and 1300s, the first online edition of the newspaper and the first student-led walkout. Just as Walt Disney made his mark on a new generation, so will we the class of 2012, who have so much energy to create A Whole New World. Along with groundbreaking firsts come nostalgic lasts. It is so important to treasure these last moments of adolescence, as we will never get them back. Soak in your last walk through the courtyard, your last attack by Soarin’ birds during lunch, your last Rosen rant, and watching your last High School Musical. Wherever you are headed for college, infinity and beyond, remember those long days spent trapped behind the red gates and be grateful that you have reached the Magic Kingdom of independence. It is not only prom and graduation that mark the end of senior year, but the time spent reading over those college acceptance letters, hanging out with friends and letting down your hair, without being afraid of getting a little Tangled up in the chaos of an unknown future. Life is not just about falling into the arms of your Prince Charming, but rather about taking risks and reaping the rewards. With all of the trials and tribulations, our lives are certainly Rock ‘n’ Roller Coasters, but the thrill of the ride is well worth the danger. In high school we have all shed our share of tears, choked up over fights with friends or terrible grades, but at the dawn of a new era, it is time to put things into perspective and to stop making Thunder Mountains out of molehills. As we embark for college life, we must learn how to live life without a Fairy Godmother or even an evil stepmother, and begin to take responsibility for our own actions, one Tower of Terror at a time. Class of 2012, we are graduating from high school, but are just learning many of the most important lessons. Step back, take a look, and say to the ones around you, “You’ve got a friend in me,” because now is the moment to begin on an Enchanted journey. Unlike Ariel, we will never have to silence our voices, because through modern technology and social media, we are just one click away from each other and will never really have to say goodbye. Once upon a time, life was about toy stories and fairy tales, but now it is about the impact we, the class of 2012, will make on the world. Good luck, good life, and remember that even though we may be adults in name, we never really have to grow up. -- LAUREN KANDELL & ERICA TURRET Northwestern Wildcat & Princeton Tiger


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The Courier

Senior Issue

April 2012

College housing allows for various options

DANIEL HARRISON Florida Gator Going off to college is one of the most exciting times of our lives. Moving out of our parents’ houses and living at school is a huge adjustment. Deciding where to live– apartment, on campus, off campus, double, triple, etc.– is an important decision, but more important is deciding who to live with. Attending a Florida school almost guarantees that we already have friends entering with us, giving us the golden opportunity to live with someone we already know. “Knowing your roommate makes the transition into college a little bit easier,” according to Florida State University freshman Daniel Hilliard, who decided to room with his best friend from high school Brent Morando. “But rooming with a random person definitely gives you a lot more opportunity to branch out and meet new people.” For Washington University at St. Louis student Jodi Small, an unknown roommate became a best friend. “It was kind of awkward at first because you don’t want to overstep your boundaries while getting to know them,” Small said. “Living together

makes you get to know someone pretty quickly, though.” Small also offers some advice to anyone hesitant about choosing to live with a random roommate. “If you put in some effort and stick to some ground rules, having a random roommate can work out well,” Small said. Senior Erin Magliozzi will attend the University of Florida this fall and has opted for a random roommate assignment. “Because a lot of my friends are going to UF, we’ll all be able to become friends with each other’s roommates, which will help us adjust to our new home,” Magliozzi said. A 2008 University of Michigan study found that roommates who make an honest effort to become friends with their roommates are happier than those reluctant to open themselves up to a stranger. “The academic environment is usually more difficult and more competitive, and moving away from the nuclear family for the first time disrupts established social support networks,” says University of Michigan psychologist Jennifer Crocker. “Along with meeting

academic challenges, creating and maintaining friendships ranks among the most important tasks of the first semester of college.” For the weary, a middle ground does exist thanks to websites dedicated to matching roommates. Roomsurf.com was founded in 2010 as a way to match incoming college students with potential roommates using a “proprietary algorithm” based on responses from a survey. Similar services, such as Roomster.com and Roommates.com, exist and some colleges, such as the University of Florida, have purchased subscriptions to the Facebook application RoomSync, all of which match roommates on similar algorithms. If you choose to room with someone you already know, then you get to skip the awkward get-to-knowyou phase. If you room with someone new, just relax and remember to be open to making a new friend because you are both in the same situation. Both sides have their pros and cons, just remember to be friendly and make the most out of your college experience.


April 2012

The Courier

Senior Issue

FastPass to new possibilities

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College not only post graduation option

SARAH PONCZEK Michigan Wolverine

Although students assume that fellow classmates will be attending college next year, there are exceptions. From joining the United States Navy to completing community service in Israel, some Douglas students will take a different route after graduation.

Bullion to join Navy Joshua Bullion plans to join the Navy and will begin training next year starting late October. “I’ve always wanted to do this because the military has been in my family since my great grandfather,” Bullion said. Bullion will train for a year and half all over the country and then he will officially enter the Navy. “I’m excited to go and not really nervous because I

know that whatever happens happens,” Bullion said. “I’ll probably stay in the Navy for the rest of my life and make it a career.”

Mason to attend Fire Academy Thomas Mason plans to attend the Ft. Lauderdale Fire Academy following graduation. “Working as a firefighter is a good job and I don’t need school,” Mason said. “I’m not really the college type.” According to Mason, he will train for three months and then work as an emergency medical technician (EMT) for a year before working as a firefighter. “I’ve been volunteering at the center, so I’m not nervous to start the training.”

Raz will volunteer in Israel

Dana Raz leaves June 14th for Israel to participate in a year-long community service program. “I’ve been in a youth group called Israeli Scouts since 5th grade, and if you want to continue with the youth group, this is the next step you take,” Raz said. According to Raz, the community service program will last from August 2012 through July 2013. “We will take the less fortunate children to school, help them with homework, and complete other educational activities,” Raz said. After completing the community service program, Raz will commit to the Israeli Army for two years. “I’m beyond excited because it’ll be a year full of experiences and memories that I will take with me for the rest of my life,” Raz said.

High school to college route does not work for all students nor employers 70.1 percent of new high school graduates between ages 16 and 24 head to college immediately after high school in the US - Huffington Post 1.2 percent of first time freshman took a gap year before beginning college, taking a gap year is linked to higher motivation in college - Wall Street Journal The military must recruit 15 percent of youth in order to keep up with national security demands -Department of Defense The armed services has a policy of taking only 10 percent of recruits without a traditional high school diploma- Huffington Post


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The Courier

Senior Issue

April 2012

Four Years of Memor

First stop: Freshman year

DANIEL HARRISON Florida Gator On August 18, 2008, the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Class of 2012 stepped on campus for the first time as high schoolers. We walked through the red gates after three grueling years of middle school, leaving as the eighth graders on top to become the tiny freshmen at the bottom. We expected high school to be scary: we had all seen Mean Girls and enough episodes of Lizzie McGuire to know the complexities of high school social structures. At the beginning, a rift existed between the students from Coral Springs Middle School and Westglades Middle School, resulting in cliques forming even before class started. The courtyard seemed so big to us then. We all congregated in our respective corners while observing the constituents of the then Emo Gazebo. School football games became the weekly hotspot where we were first introduced to the famous “Eagles in the

front” cheer and where we walked around the bleachers aimlessly looking for our friends (just like in the movies). In addition to the stresses of trying to keep old friends while making new ones, we also had to adjust to seven different classes with seven different teachers. The vast majority of us were forced to take HOPE (Health Opportunities through Physical Education), in which we sat in the classroom learning basic health half of the week, and played basketball and what not during the other half, as mandated by the Florida legislature. Some of us had eccentric teachers, from those who played the Jaws theme before a quiz to those who gave an automatic D to any essay containing the word “is”. For the first time we stressed out over midterms and finals– and we did not even have AP exams to end our classes a few weeks early! While our own worlds were rapidly changing, so was the rest of the world. During our freshman year

president Barack Obama was both elected and inaugurated, and we watched the historic inauguration in all of our classes. Lady Gaga changed the face of the music industry when she released her first album The Fame, and Apple changed the way we occupy our time in class with the introduction of the App Store for the iPhone and iPod Touch. At the time, freshman year seemed like a magical time full of the mystery of new experiences. But in hindsight it was an awward transition stage from the gawky middle school years to the exciting following years of high school. But now, once again, we transition from the top dogs to the little fish in a big pond, but at least we have a lot more poise than we did coming out of middle school.

The sequel: Sophomore year

KIM MORAN New Hampshire Wildcat Sophomore year. Finally no longer considered the underdogs of the school, especially in our own minds, we walked the halls with the confident glow of wanna-be upperclassmen and an air of arrogance as if the school was ours. We had paid our dues as freshmen and it was time for retribution. In between two crucial years, no longer feeling intimidated by the new high school world we have entered but also not needing to deal with the stresses felt by true upperclassmen, the world seemed our playground. We were invincible. But not long into our sophomore year we learned the truth: we were not invincible. On the night of Homecoming, we lost three of our classmates in an accident. The Monday following Homecoming we watched our friends, our classmates, and our teachers mourn the untimely deaths of fellow sophomores Sean Maxey, Anthony Almonte,

and Robert Nugent. The tragic event left us stunned, and the emotional aftermath forced us to come together. Life was put into perspective, and we had to grow up fast in order to cope with a situation well beyond our years. Our next chance to mature as a class: our first studentorganized walkout. Intended as an opportunity to show support for teachers and opposition to merit pay, students emptied out of third period and flooded the football field. Some showed strong opinions, but the decided majority saw it as an excuse to miss class. Rather than giving us the appreciation we had hoped for, teachers saw this similar to the freshman year pep rally catastrophe, and the reputation of the class of 2012 was once again in question. Outside the walls of school, the world swirled around us. On January 12, 2010, a massive earthquake wracked Haiti. The initial quake, with a magnitude of 7.0 on the Richter Scale, was followed by twelve

afterschocks – greater than 5.0 on the scale. About a month later, the world came together in Vancouver for the Winter Olympics. The US came out victorious, winning the most medals of any country and the most medals – 37 – ever won in a single Winter Olympics. Then, in April, a BP oil rig exploded, flooding the Gulf of Mexico. The well could not be capped until mid-July 2010 and thus the spill was dubbed the worst oil spill in US history. But, as the immature sophomores we were, the majority of us focused less on world catastrophes and American achievements and more on the rise of Bieber Fever and the introduction of the first Apple iPad. But, as we closed the first half of our high school career, we embraced the importance of what we were about to experience, moving from immature ways to the academic rigor of junior year and the privileges that come to upper classmen.


April 2012

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ries to Last a Lifetime Beat the Crowd: Junior year ERICA TURRET Princeton Tiger During the 2010-2011 school year, the class of 2012 spent a lot of time stressing and testing. F i n a l l y upperclassmen, we relished the idea of the coveted junior-senior pep rally, showed our class spirit decked out in red, and began to take the thought of life after high school a bit more seriously. College tours, SATs and AP classes, oh my! Junior year was finally our time to shine. Now as we laugh at the current junior class stressing out over REHUGO or smile as we see drenched teens shuffling into first period after a trek in the downpour from the oh so far away junior parking lot, it is easy to forget about the anxiety of the unknown surrounding this very important

year. It is simpler to brush off those who talk about the emphasis universities place on the junior course load and extracurriculars, choosing instead the enticing 1 a.m. curfew and R-rated movies that coincide with one’s 17th birthday. When the Brothers Grimm wrote many of the beloved fairy tales that have since been transformed into the Disney classics, they probably imagined most of their princess protagonists to be just around the ripe old age of 17. With the never ending to do list of junior year looming in the background, who really has the time to worry about ‘happily ever after’? We all have dealt with the poisoned apples of broken promises or the wicked queens of high school who always manage to make adolescence slightly resemble Hades. Between ACT and SAT,

it was sometimes hard to remember an equally important three letter word: FUN. But when we see the acceptance from an amazing college flashing on a previously ominous computer screen, we can rest assured that the junior year jitters were all worth it. During our junior year, we saw the rise of the Tea Party in the backdrop of the 2010 midterm elections and a world economy still struggling to get back on its feet in the aftermath of the Great Recession. Kate Middleton married Prince William, a real life fairy tale in the making. The 2010-2011 school year laid the groundwork for all of us to be able to reach our happily ever after. Junior year tends to have a bad reputation, but without it, none of our dreams could come true.

The End: Senior year LAUREN KANDELL Northwestern Wildcat

For the first three years of high school, we all anxiously anticipated our senior year, in which slacking off would be so notoriously expected that it had its own word. When we stepped foot on campus for our big “last first day,” we were willing to temporarily forget anxious thoughts of college applications and impending life decisions. There were no longer any older classes to look up to enviously, wondering what it might be like to one day fill our schedules with study hall instead of a seventh AP class, or to spare ourselves the walk from the junior lot each day. As far as we were concerned, we had made it. The novelty has worn off a bit, as we have realized we only have a few short months to figure out what the next step of our lives will be. Senioritis is unavoidable, but – wait, what? – we have to maintain relatively decent grades to hold on to those college acceptances we so desperately worked to earn

over the years. And while talk of grad bash, prom, and graduation has helped to keep us from all but giving up this year, in September these events seemed more like a distant dream. Despite the difficulties, we have flawlessly maintained our #seniorswag, taking on leadership roles in clubs, honor societies, and varsity sports alike. In the world outside of the confines of Parkland and Coral Springs, our senior year is marked by the beginning of the Occupy Wall Street protests, the death of Apple CEO and icon of our generation’s technology, Steve Jobs, and the careful following of the Republican presidential candidates and persistent criticism and satire at their expense. In pop culture, we have witnessed new phenomena, such as the hype surrounding The Hunger Games, and the dramatic end to others, the most significant being the final Harry Potter movie. Musically, this year has opened our eyes to new genres and artists – dubstep gained

mainstream popularity, and Adele proved that a cliché pop beat is not the only way that an artist can sweep the Grammys, winning six awards. Beyond even the constant hashtagging and ‘YOLO’s, this year we have seen social media taken to a whole new level. Twitter has gained popularity among students, and iPhone users now utilize Instagram to share random pictures of their everyday lives with friends. But of course, taking photos is not enough for us – insert the invasion of the app Draw Something, where we could communicate and compete with friends by drawing pictures of given words and guessing them back and forth. At risk of sounding like the graduation speeches we will inevitably hear in a few short weeks, senior year may be coming to a close, but our time at the school has greatly impacted the path of our lives. 2012 will forever be in our hearts, and not just as the year the world almost ended – after all, as our freshman year shirts immortalized, the world won’t end until we graduate.


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Senior Issue

April 2012

We are ‘done’ Social networking takes 2012 senior song away magic of reunions - To the tune of “We Are Young” by Fun. Give us a second is Is this really happening? Our friends are in the courtyard Waiting to get asked by their prom date. Our future is waiting for us Just across the stage, Our seats been taken by some youngins Waiting for their turn And we knew it was coming months ago But it got so easy to forget. But between the prom and first loves, Trying to figure out what we’ll become, You know we’re trying hard to grow up So if by the time the year closes And you feel like falling down We know we’re still seniors Tonight WE ARE YOUNG So let’s set the stage on fire We will burn brighter Than the sun Tomorrow WE’RE NOT YOUNG So we took the school with fire Eagles soared higher Life’s just begun

Now we know that we’re not Children for long We guess that we We just thought maybe we should cherish our friends for now They’ve always had our back So let’s raise a toast Cause we found a class to carry our hearts Tonight WE ARE YOUNG So let’s set the stage on fire We will burn brighter Than the sun

- Liz Myers & Natalie Heim Florida Gators

AMEEN METTAWA Florida Gator

All of us underwent monumental changes during our four years at Douglas, and those changes will not end on graduation day. In fact, our college years are bound to transform us into individuals barely recognizable to our current peers, yet our memories of high school will persist. High school reunions present the opportunity to reawaken the past while witnessing the results of everyone’s transformation. “You guys can knock high school all you want but everybody has very powerful memories of those years,“ psychics teacher Robert Rosen said. “My 50th reunion will be coming up soon and I’d want to go to that. It’s a little bit like going back in time for a few minutes.” However, teachers who attended college just as the social networking boom began do not show as much appreciation for high school reunions. “Facebook ruined high school reunions,” English teacher and Douglas alumnus Darren Levine said. “I don’t think they hold much value anymore. Because of Facebook, we all know what everyone is doing.” In fact, Levine argues that the very act of planning a high school reunion over Facebook diminishes the necessity of a physical reunion. “My class started a Facebook group for the 2012 reunion of the class of 2002. It became a whole big thing where people were writing about what they’ve done since graduation, and that becomes

the reunion,” Levine said. “I think that later on, in 30 or 40 years, one of those landmark reunions would be good to attend because people will have changed so much, and we don’t know what will have happened with Facebook.” Senior Phoebe Hughes agrees that the ease of keeping in touch online decreases the importance of reunions. “Most of my friends are planning to go to college in the northeast, and I’m going to keep in touch with everyone who I want to keep in touch with anyway,” Hughes said. While senior Jamie Schwartz also considers social networking a better way of keeping in touch with friends

than attending reunions, she sees merit in this tradition. “It’s still interesting to see the people you haven’t kept in touch with and how they’ve changed,” Schwartz said. “Someone may have been really cool in high school, but then I’ll be able to say that I’m the successful one. I’d also like to see the really nerdy kids and how successful they’ve become. I want to see their hot spouses and nice cars.” Regardless of how much advancement occurs in social technology, reunions remain an established tradition, and the nostalgic chance for remembrance they offer is far richer than that of digital interaction.

Do you plan to attend the 10 year reunion? No

15%

Maybe 3%

Yes

83%

*based on poll of approximately 330 students


April 2012

The Courier

Have you ever...

Senior Issue

wanted to turn back time?

NATALIE HEIM Florida Gator Have you ever regretted a decision that in hindsight you knew was not what you really should’ve done, or have you ever regretted not taking an opportunity that had so much to offer? Regrets may come from actions or errors commited as well as from inaction. They may range from the voluntary to the uncontrollable or accidental. No matter what the type, however, everyone experiences regret. According to the New York Times article “What’s Your Biggest Regret,” research shows the most common regret among Americans involves a romantic opportunity. Other top regrets include education, career, money issues, parenting mistakes, and health regrets. According to Neal J. Roese, a psychologist and professor of marketing at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, the research shows a fair amount of people that mention high school romances and the things they let pass them by. Roese also reported that

people say they should’ve studied something different in college, taken a different career path, or followed their passions. Among college students the biggest regrets tend to center around education, such as wishing that one had studied more or chosen a different major or career. Women showed to be far more likely to have romantic regrets, with 44 percent reminiscing about lost love, versus 19 percent of men. One in three men, however, had regrets about education, career, and money. Although just as many reported regretting something they had done as people that regretted something they didn’t do, the people who had a regret of omission tended to hold on to the regret for longer. Roese notes that regret can be damaging to mental health when a person fixates on the missed opportunity. On the other hand regret has

the potential to be beneficial by refocusing attention and improving decision making in the future. According to Carsten Wrosch, a professor of psychology at Concordia University, the emotional distress of regrets can trigger biological deregulation of the hormone and immune systems which makes people more vulnerable to developing clinical health problems. Roeses suggests that the most helpful way to cope is to feel it deeply but move on quickly and use it to motivate you future behaviors. According to the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, in general, if people compare themselves to those who are worse off, they are going to feel better. Regrets are an inevitable part of life but if we can learn from them and use those lessons to better our futures, the choices we make will bring satisfaction rather than remorse.

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Tomorrowland: what’s to come May 2 Senior vs. Staff basketball game May 12 Prom May 7-11, May 14-18 AP Testing Weeks May 21-24 Senior Final Exams May 24 Seniors’ last day June 1 (tentative) Cap and Gown Pick-up June 6 Graduation

Photo courtesy of Google Images

Disney’s Primeval Whirl at Magic Kingdom allows riders to go back in time - a fantasy we all wish was reality at times.


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April 2012

Senior Issue

Preparing for a whole new world: the college dorm KIM MORAN New Hampshire Wildcat Packing for a college dorm is a process and, unfortunately for those who procrastinate, it isn’t a trip to pack for the night before. In the weeks or even months leading up to moving day, a pile begins to collect in your home with all the basics: clothes, bedding, cleaning supplies, laundry detergent, backpack, etc.

First aid kit

With all the studying you are bound to do freshman year, paper cuts will be inevitable. Make sure bandages, antibacterial ointments, and pain relievers like Advil or Tylenol are in adequate supply in your room.

Under-bed storage

Most dorm room beds are adjustable in height, opening up the under-bed area as additional storage space. Having to climb onto the bed will be much easier on you and your roommate than navigating through all of your belongings that are sprawled across the floor.

Duct tape

If duct tape can’t fix it, nothing can.

Bike or skate board

A form of transportation aside from feet may be a good idea if you will be on a larger campus where classes and buildings are spread out.

Water purifier

Why spend valuable money on packages of water bottles? A water purifying bottle or pitcher is financially and environmentally responsible, not to mention easier than running to the store every time you’re thirsty.

Adhesive-back hooks

It’s no secret that space in a dorm room is limited, so take advantage of what you have. Hooks that can be stuck onto a wall or back of a door save drawer and floor space.

A strict budget

College kids are known for their tight budget and limited spending funds. Save yourself some stress and arguments with your parents by setting a budget for spending each month or semester and sticking to it.

Skype or Oovoo account

Whether or not you can admit it, there will be some people “from back home” that you will miss. Establish an account on a videochat program so you can see and talk to friends or family you will be away from.

How to survive without mommy FALLON BIRKE South Florida Bull

Once upon a time our clothes magically appeared neatly folded, messes were cleaned over night, and home cooked meals appeared on the dinner table like clockwork. Now, that we are entering a whole new world (college) we have to learn how to do these things for ourselves.

Cleaning up your act: it’s laundry time

Step 1: Unless you want an instant hippie wardrobe, separate colors, darks, and whites to avoid dyes running.

Step 2: Use cold water, and use detergent sparingly so you won’t cause a sea of soap, but use enough to eliminate odors.

Step 3: Load the clothes into the washing machine, careful to evenly disperse them all around, keeping the washer in balance.

Treating yourself to a gourmet dinner

Photos by Kim Moran

Step 1: Take your favorite boxed Macaroni and Cheese and gather the ingredients listed on the back of the box. Don’t throw the box out yet!

Step 2: Let water boil on stove, then pour in noodles. Cook until tender, unless you like your pasta crunchy. Remove pot from the stove and drain.

Step 3: Mix ingredients according to directions on the back of the box. Serve your orange, cheesy goodness and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Netflix membership

Some schools do not include cable television in the room and board costs and adding cable can get pricy, especially on a college budget. Having a Netflix membership allows you to stream TV shows and movies using an Internet connection through your computer, Xbox, or Blu-Ray player.

Surge protector

Your dorm room will more likely than not house more electronic devices and utilities than its outlets provide. A power strip and surge protector are a good way to allow you to plug in your phone charger, laptop charger, TV, mini fridge, etc. However, check with your school’s housing department before purchasing as they are subject to limitations for safety reasons, which vary from school to school.

Shower shoes

Let’s face it: foot fungus is not something you want to deal with in the fall semester of freshman year. You are not going to be the only one using the shower, and the warm, moist environment is a breeding ground for fungi.


April 2012

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Greek LIFe oFFers UNiqUe experieNces

Photos courtesy of James Myers

Above: Chi Phi fraternity brothers team up with sorority Delta Zeta in the sorority’s philanthropy event called Delta Zeta Turtle Tug, a tug of war competition. Chi Phi competed against eight fraternities, placing second in the competition. Chi Phi fraternity brothers James Myers (bottom) and Kevin Portella, sophomores at the University of Florida, cheer on their brothers in the Delta Zeta Turtle Tug. LIZ MYERS Florida Gator Students have a predisposed image of what Greek life is like on a college campus, good or bad, according to Kevin Portella, a sophomore at the University of Florida and member of the fraternity Chi Phi. “I expected it to be like a party all the time, but I found out its so much more than that, it really is a brotherhood where I’ve met

lifelong friends,” Portella said. Josh Kravec, a sophomore at the University of Florida and member of the fraternity Chi Phi, finds that Greek life is nothing like what he expected. “Greek life seemed intimidating before I knew anything about it,” Kravec said. “The partying is great and all, but Greek life is really all about making friends you’ll keep for a long time and establishing

connections with involved people on and off campus.” A junior at the University of Florida, Ally Rossi, who is part of the sorority Pi Beta Phi, found that sorority life exceeded her expectations as a place to make friends. “It’s about giving back to the community with philanthropies and community service, getting involved on campus, which is so easy when we have at least one

girl in every club or organization, and it’s about ritual,” Rossi said. Each year, every chapter is required to hold a philanthropy event, which donates money to a charity that is chosen by the national office, such as Chi Phi’s charity, the Boys and Girls Club of America. The entire Greek system participates in each philanthropy. “There is a fraternity or sorority philanthropy [event] probably every other week and we are always encouraged to go to all of them,” Rossi said. Members of Greek life at UF and other universities participate in the fundraiser Dance Marathon, a 26.2 hour event which raises money for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. This year UF raised $886,776.15. In addition to charity involvement, sororities and fraternities combat the negative stereotypes that some have. “To change the negative outlook, we try to portray Pi Phi at least in a positive way by always having participation in all of the philanthropies, holding leadership positions in all kinds of organizations all over campus, having such diversity within our sisters, and always giving to the community whether it be community service or lots of participation at events like Dance Marathon and other Gainesville things,” Rossi said. Florida State University graduate Michelle Heim believes that being in a sorority taught her life skills in addition to creating close bonds and friendships which she still has today.

“Prior to joining my organization I thought it was all about having a college social life,” Heim said. “Once I was an active member, holding positions my entire college career, it taught me time management, responsibility, accountability, and many more skills.” She also was president of her sorority Sigma Delta Tau from the spring of her junior year through the fall her senior year. “Being president was probably the hardest lesson of all; it is like running a small business,” Heim said. “I had to learn to manage 11 executive members and each of them had girls to manage below them. I had to make sure finances with our Nationals were in line. I had to learn to differentiate between friendship and business. Every decision I made, whether sorority related or personal, affected the entire organization.” Heim’s sorority encouraged members to maintain their academics. “Each university has its own standards that the school requires its Greek life to maintain in regards to GPA,” Heim said. “My organization required study hours for our pledges. Active sisters we held accountable to a certain GPA and if they fell below they were put on probation in which you could only participate in Chapter, meals, and philanthropies. You were also required to finish study hours each week if you were on probation.” Greek life encourages student involvement in the university as well as in charity, and also provides for professional networking through alumni and other connections. The Greek system helps members find job opportunities and internships, such as Kravec’s internship which he found through an alumni for the marketing company Premier. “I would recommend Greek life because it really does give you the chance to get more involved on campus, make really strong bonds with friends and make a lot of connections,” Rossi said. “To graduating seniors that are thinking about rushing, I say definitely go in with a completely open mind and join the [one] that makes you feel the most at home not the one that is considered a ‘top’ or better house per se.” Experiences in the Greek system depend on the individual. “The organization will be what you make of it,” Heim said. “I had the experiences I did because I wanted them. Of course you can join just for the fun, but participating in all Greek Events, holding positions within your organization, making a difference on your campus is where the rewards come from.”


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The Courier

Senior Issue

April 2012

Seniors select four faculty marshals to usher them out of high school SARAH PONCZEK Michigan Wolverine

Jeffrey Foster

Richard Mendelson

Social Studies teacher Richard Mendelson was inspired by Douglas’s own teachers, such as Mrs. Hitchcock, Mrs. Verba, Mrs. Chauvin, Coach Miller and Coach Rountree, to pursue a career in education. “I hope that, when I am finished as an educator, I will have the profound impact on students that the wonderful teachers here have had on me,” Mendelson said. This will be Mendelson’s first year working as a marshal and he feels extremely honored that the students selected him. “I am honored and humbled to know that my students, both current and former, voted for me,” Mendelson said. “To me, this is like a minor league ball player finally getting the call to go up to the major leagues.” According to Mendelson, the most important thing regarding teaching for him is that he remains open to the students truly getting to know him. “Not only as their teacher, but also as a person, a professional, and most important—an alumnus of their school,” Mendelson said.

AP American Government and Politics teacher Jeffrey Foster has had the opportunity to work as a senior graduation marshal for the past 12 consecutive years of his 14year teaching career at Douglas. “I feel privileged every year that the students decide to pick me,” Foster said. “It is truly an honor.” According to Foster, his experience as marshal has and will be a little different than that of the other three. “Since I’ve been nominated a lot, I’ve sort of become the organizer on the teacher-side of it,” Foster said. “I’ve worked with quite a few people in administration over the years, and teachers like Mr. Jeter, Mr. Maurer and Mrs. Reoven have aided in ensuring that the students know where to line-up, how to march and generally how to behave during the ceremony.” Foster believes that the reason students nominate him year after year relates to his love for teaching. “I think students see [me as] someone who is passionate about his profession and someone who cares about them and always treats them with respect,” Foster said.

Patti Thompson

English teacher Patti Thompson admits that she was ecstatic when she heard the news of her selection to work as a marshal on senior graduation night. “It is extremely gratifying to know that they respect and appreciate me as their teacher,” Thompson said. Although she has taught here for 15 years, it will be Thompson’s first year working as a marshal and she does not know exactly what the job entails; however, she is excited regardless and happy that her students nominated her. “I had the most amazing high school experience myself with the most incredible teachers that truly cared about me and my success and I wanted to be able to give that back,” Thompson said. “I am very fortunate to wake up everyday going to a job that I absolutely love.” Senior Austin Ginn has Thompson this year as a teacher for English IV Honors. “She’s very personable with her students; if you have a problem, she’ll take you aside and talk to you,” Ginn said. “She’s very understanding and has a good sense of humor.”

Donna Amelkin

English teacher Donna Amelkin has known that she wanted to pursue a career as an educator ever since she was a little girl. “As a teacher, the greatest honor for me is knowing that I’ve changed a student’s life in some way,” Amelkin said. “And knowing that I don’t teach seniors, I am humbled and honored to know that I’ve touched students’ lives in a positive manner.” Amelkin also worked as a senior graduation marshal for the Class of 2010, and therefore knows what the job entails. According to Amelkin, the marshals stand at the head and back of the line as they enter and leave the graduation ceremony, acting as escorts. “I don’t think it’s about working as a marshal, but rather about the honor of knowing that seniors nominated us to represent them,” Amelkin said. Amelkin believes that writing college recommendation letters and teaching many students for two consecutive years (10th Grade Gifted English and AP Language and Composition) aided in her nomination. “Well I also paid them off,” Amelkin said jokingly. “No, seriously I think that students know I’m invested in making them the best they can be.” Photos by Fallon Birke


April 2012

The Courier

Senior Issue

Page 5

Every up has its down

LIZ MYERS Florida Gator

College is the chance for young adults to finally break free from the chains of parent supervision. But with this new freedom and responsibility comes many dangers that students need to be aware of before stepping onto the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster of college. “I can’t wait to go to college and have the time of my life,” senior Colton Bottomley said. “But I know that I need to be careful and understand the [dangers], especially because I’m playing baseball.” College parties are typical sources of a multitude of dangers, especially due to drinking. Consumption of alcohol results in difficulty walking, blurred vision, slurred speech, slowed reaction times, and impaired memory. Alcohol acts as a sedative on the central nervous system and is a depressant, dulling the abilities of the nerve cells in the brain to respond. Drinking does more than just impact your own body. Reckless behavior while intoxicated can lead to injuries, assault, sexual abuse, drunk driving, academic and health problems, arrest, and death. “A lot of my friends and I always think that the bad consequences we hear about on the news or from adults can never happen to us,” senior Brittany Sauls said. “We think we’re invincible often and think we can do anything.” The truth is that the dreaded consequences of drinking and partying are extremely prevalent on college campuses. If college students, generally all legally adults, get in trouble with the law, it is on their record for life.

“Dangers of Drinking” Statistics •Death: 1,825 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die from alcohol-related unintentional injuries, including motor vehicle crashes. Alcohol is the third leading cause of death for people ages 15-24. •Binge: A “binge” consists of four consecutive drinks for a female and five for a male. 90% of underage drinkers (21 years old or less) consume their alcohol in the form of binge drinking. •Deaths due to Binge Drinking: Approximately 1,700 college students die each year from binge drinking related ailments. •Injury: 599,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are unintentionally injured under the influence of alcohol. •Assault: 696,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are assaulted by another student who has been drinking. •Sexual Abuse: 97,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are victims of alcohol-related sexual assault or date rape. •Drunk Driving: 3,360,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 drive under the influence of alcohol. •Vandalism: About 11 percent of college student drinkers report that they have damaged property while under the influence of alcohol. •Police Involvement: About 5 percent of 4-year college students are involved with the police or campus security as a result of their drinking.

‘Tower of Terror’fying Fears “I’m afraid I’m not going to be able to pick one direction or career. I’ll change my mind too many times.” -Erin Magliozzi, senior

“I fear not getting along with my roommate and being stuck with someone super weird.” -Joshua Miller, senior

~Source: National Institute of Alcohol Abuse & Alcoholism “High school and college students often don’t realize how easy it can be to get arrested,” senior Melissa Trejo said. “Doing something wrong even just once can end up with you having a criminal record which doesn’t go away.” According to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 110,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are arrested for an alcohol-

related violation such as public drunkenness or driving under the influence. Once you have a record, it follows you forever, affecting any later schooling such as graduate school that you may apply to and potential jobs as well. Partying may seem inevitable to college campuses, but students need to be safe and know their limits and the potential consequences.

“My fear is growing apart from people I’m close to because I’ve met such great people. Also, I’m afraid of taking chemistry again. Two times is enough.” -Rebecca Weisselberg, senior

“I’m afraid to fail my courses freshman year and of not being used to the format of classes. I also fear getting fat. I’m afraid of the freshman 15, or 20.” -Shawn Nebenzahl, senior

“I’m afraid of messing up and getting kicked out of school. It’s my future and if you don’t go to college you basically have no future.” -Rebecca Guerrero, senior


Page 6

The Courier

Senior Issue

April 2012


April 2012

The Courier

Senior Issue

Page 7

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Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale Ft. Lauderdale, FL Cory Kaplan Samantha Pineda

Broward College Ft. Lauderdale, FL Ian Bolz Jose Camacho Jesse Catronio Logan Daugherty Brittany Estrella Ryan Ferrera Athena Kern Mauro Lezcano Arman Majid Shivane Maraj Shekinah Moore Chris Palbicke Krystal Phillips Wilmo Rivera Brandon Robb Carlos Villegas

DeVry University Ft. Lauderdale, FL Jamie Carneiro

Embry Riddle Aeronautical University Daytona Beach, FL Jonathan Melgar

Florida Atlantic University Boca Raton, FL Emily Acosta Fortunado Adrian Nelson Arrieta Rebecca Bailey Dominick Bainlardi Lauren Cox Patrick Darby Matt Ferraro Ashley Gentile Nicole Grajales Joshua Guttveg Tyler Heitzman Mauricio Hidalgo Dana Hoffmann Casey Hulfachor Taylor Irvine Jonathan Leonard Jorge Lira Eduardo Lozano Kevin MacCoy Jean Paul Makoukdji Matthew Mallimo Matthew Manning Matthew Miller Melissa Minardi Zachary Morreale Faiza Naeem Wen Ow Joseph Palermo Lisa Plosky Nived Rajendran Jonathan Raucher Carolann Reyes Matthew Riback Jose Rodriguez Nathan Rubin Erico Ruiz Richard Ruiz Shelby Sanders Shiva Sayadian Chistopher Scoppettone Amani Shokry Samantha Siegel Jessica Sitterberg Samantha Toner Rodrigo Torres Steven Vassil Jimmy Wadsworth Nicole Winnick Danielle Zwerling

Florida Gulf Coast University Ft, Myers, FL Brittany Aberman Ashley Belfer

Jamie Blair Samantha Blair Kevin Boos Wayne Boyd Brandon Cohen Carly Correia Brandon Dreichler Samantha Elias Jordan Feinberg Jaimie Fusco Chase Goldstein Alex Hinton Raegan Langer Francesca Lavezzoli-Nelson Trissja-Rey Lehtio Josh Nolan Aquino Padmore McKenzie Palumbo Ryan Potter Jade Rocha Erin Sagel Brittany Swanson Kristy Thai Jessica Thomson Braydon Vaughan Jessica Williams Kelly Wilson

Florida Institute of Technology Melbourne, FL Max Bendroch Brian Evans

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Florida State University Tallahassee, FL Ruken Aymaz Grady Barnard Jessie Baron Tyler Beach Paige Bloom Marc Deutsch Jake Emert Javier Escabi Laura Evans Thomas Fitzsimmons Jillian Flynn Amy Goldberg Mitchell Golub David Gonzalez Rebecca Guerrero Emma Hafner Alex Haydu Laurel Hennessy Kathleen Horn Desiree Ji Emily Johnson Maia Jones Shone Joseph Jordana Judson Aleem Khan Jeff Kaplan Rebecca Keating Lauren Klett Braden Kohlman Tommy Lamers Jennifer Levick Mackenzie Lyon Michael Mandel Zachary Martin Zachary Mauer Samar Rahmatian Katelyn Raiger Nicole Reid Emily Rieders Hannah Rosen Rachel Rosen

Amanda Rounds Jared Sariol Andrew Small Alison Spiegel Danielle Stepien Melissa Strenk Alexandra Stricoff Sydney Trinkler Devyn Turner Monica Vetter Sam Weinberg Courtney Weiner Gary Wexler Brandon Zelman Justin Zepatos

Indian River State College Fort Pierce, FL David Minsky

Lynn University Boca Raton, FL Karissa Dickerson

McFatter Technical Center Davie, FL Jesse Stueber

Miami Dade College Miami, FL Thomas Leyva David Sosa

Palm Beach State College Boca Raton, FL Erica Caraballoso Perry Chencin Oscar Chu Daniela Daza Adam Fiorello Madyson Guterman Austin Joseph Isabella Jusino Steven Lewin Shane Martin Kelsey Mulligan Michael Reiss Alex Riccardi Amanda Schroeder Michelle Tepedino-Garcia Alex Weinraub

Stetson University DeLand, FL Ilana Brodzki

Tallahassee Community College Tallahassee, FL Taylor Craig Carl Senechal

University of Central Florida Orlando, FL Jacob Babchick Lucienne Behar Ian Belden Ashlee Belzo Ryan Block Jacob Bowling Kevin Buscemi Nicole Capadonis Andrea Castillo Michelle Chen Amy Davis Laurie Ferron Jessica Foster Natasha Garcia Gabrielle Garsten Beverly Gomez Paula Gomez Kevin Grady Heather Guadron Angelique Gulla Robert Guzman Brandon Haas Kristen Hanlon Tasneem Ibrahim Catherine Klemke Scott Koretsky Adam Levy Erik Margetts

Alex Martin Chris Miller Josh Naftaly Shaun Nebenzahl Chase Nemeth Tamar Nir Daniel Oliva Jessica Olson Alexis Plater Zainab Razvi Daniella Reiss Andres Rodriguez-Campbell Brittany Sauls Jamie Schwartz Paul Sebastian Cayla Shreve Jacob Solomon Colleen Spicer Michael Stanzione Hayley Supovitz Alana Villanueva Adam Weiss Justin Widelitz Melissa Zapata Evan Zinger

University of Florida Gainesville, FL Arturo Ayala Austin Bouchard Sophie Bray Kevin Cantor Scott Cohen Kathleen Contreras Qianwen Ding Adam Feinzig Courtney Friedman Anthony Gavin Daniel Harrison Natalie Heim Abigail Hummel Allison Johnson

Divya Jolly Taimoor Khan Tamara Law Joshua Lehr Jacob Lennertz Rebecca Lorenzo Nicholas Macarian Erin Magliozzi Ameen Mettawa Nixie Mistri Liz Myers David Nassau Winnie Ng Katie Pascale Jake Rachlin Michael Ross Michelle Ryan Rachel Sonenblum Taylor Stavitsky Dana Steel Katie Steel Jessica Steele Alan Stroup Kevin Swilling Jamilea Van Hemel Jacob Walters Wenli Yin Emily Zeilberger

University of Miam Coral Gables, FL Abraham Alishaev Keelin Bielski Cai Duhart Renee Perez


fter All: College Map

mi

Senior Issue

Penn State University University Park, PA Chloe Daly Austin Luboff Christopher Woika

Princeton University Princeton, NJ

Forrest Shooster

St. John’s University Queens, NY Evynn Stengel Brandon Turner

James Brogan

Clark University Worcester, MA Phoebe Hughes

Cornell University Ithaca, NY Ian Harris Tawny Niculescu Jose Tiburcio

Drexel University Philadelphia, PA Joshua Haghighi Paul Martorano

Emerson College Boston, MA University of North Florida Jacksonville, FL Nicholas Atkins Brandon Auld David Ballen Leah Barrington Blaise Elkes Wesley Fields Brandon Magaro Courtney McCleister Jerry Mosiello Alexa Siegel

University of South Florida Tampa, FL Fallon Birke Jennifer Cavalieri Brandon Fersten Matthew Itzkowitz Connor Jacobs Emily Rose Alec Smith Matthew Thornburg

Valencia College Orlando, FL Ryan Carroll Alyssa Castella Nicole Frank Genevieve Kales Rachel Katz Briana Marlin Jessica Olson

Samantha Shaffer

Fashion Institute of Technology New York, NY

University of New Hampshire Durham, NH

Lake Forest College Chicago, IL

University of the Arts Philadelphia, PA

Northland College Ashland, WI

Wesleyan University Middletown, CT

Northwestern University Chicago, IL

Appalachian State University Boone, NC

School of the Art Institute of Chicago Chicago, IL

Brooke Morris Max Chapman

Kim Moran

Dakota Demato

Max Spiegelman

Jaycob Kitain

Catawba College Salisbury, NC Alex Fulton

Clemson University Clemson, SC

Norwhich University Northfield, VT Anthony Waddell

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge, MA Pratheek Nagaraj

McGill University Montreal, QC Alexandre Gelinas

Tyler Gentilella

Craig Herbst Michael Oretsky Bobby Steinman

Nikita Kalinowski

Alexandra Johnson Lauren Kandell

Jessica Zuckerbrod

University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI Sarah Ponczek

Brian Blasi Kristina Shakes Edward Yin

Air Force Academy Colorado Springs, CO

Alex Simoneaux

Arizona State University Tempe, AZ

Jason Seidler

Colorado State University Ft. Collins, CO

Duke University Durham, NC

Anabel Cohen

Kathleen Liu

Carlie Green

Western Michigan University Livionia, MI

Georgia Gwinnett College Suwanee, GA

Northeastern University Boston, MA

Marissa Shonk

Indiana University Bloomington, IN

Shellise Goulbourne

Sonali Argade Alyssa Noud Relvin Samal

Peter Malcolm

Cedarville University Cedarville, OH

University of Maryland College Park, MD

Emory University Atlanta, GA

New York University New York, NY

Joe Carothers

Wheeling Jesuit University Wheeling, WV

University of Delaware Newark, Delaware

Elon University Elon, NC

LIM College New York, NY

Virginia Tech Blacksburg, VA

Illinois State University Bloomington, IL

Daniella Florens Mikaela Marino

Howard University Washington, DC

Brandon Anderson Marco Tiburcio

Syracuse University Syracuse, NY

Jamie Rothstein

Boston College Chestnut Hill, MA

Chaz Daly

DePaul University Chicago, IL

Mariah Kulak

Brandon Smith

Remaine Douglas

Cari Sertner

Rochester Institute of Technology Rochester, NY

Binghamton University Vestal, NY

University of Lafayette Lafayette, LA

Vanderbilt University Nashville, TN

Sasha Gregg

Marquis Sklenar

Trenton McLemore

University of Virginia Charlottesville, VA

Rhode Island School of Design Providence, RI

Berklee College of Music Boston, MA

University of Georgia Athens, GA

Erica Turret

Quinnipac University Hamden, CT

9

Ian Lytle

Staci Colbacchini

Rachel Napolitano

Kimberly Carpenter

Anjelica Petakos

Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandise Los Angeles, CA

Ryan Hurley

Santa Barbara City College Santa Barbara, CA

Zach Fritz Brandon Jackson

University of Colorado Boulder Boulder, CO

Georgia Southern University Statesboro, GA Methodist University Fayettville, NC Savannah College of Art and Design Savannah, GA Darcy Nathanson

Tulane University New Orleans, LA Jared Tromer

University of Alabama Tuscaloosa, AL Morgan Ballard

Sirena Newman Nick Kramer

Jordan Gringauz

University of Hawaii at Manoa Honolulu, HI Mallory Rusinowski

University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA Zachary Zbar


Page 10

The Courier

Senior Issue

April 2012

Fairest of them all: The real senior superlatives

Liz Myers - The Smart One University of Florida Gator Erica Turret - The Ambitious One Princeton University Tiger

Fallon Birke - The Crazy One University of South Florida Bull

Daniel Harrison - The Leader of the Pack University of Florida Gator

Natalie Heim - The Sassy One University of Florida Gator

Lauren Kandell - The Smiley One Northwestern University Wildcat

Kim Moran - The Happy One University of New Hampsire Wildcat

Sarah Ponczek - The Perfect One University of Michigan Wolverine

Ameen Mettawa - The Indifferent One University of Florida Gator


theCOURIER douglascourier.com

Seniorland Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School

Volume 24

No. 6

It’s our castle now We may not consider high school to be the happiest place on Earth, but we can agree that the four years we have spent at Douglas have inspired us to allow all of our dreams to come true. As we leap into adulthood, it is the perfect time to look back on our childhood experiences and reflect upon how they will shape our futures. School is just a single stop on our Carousel of Progress, but its influence will help lead us to our happily ever after. While in high school, we witnessed a lot of firsts – the first African American president (and Disney princess), the first class to use the 1200s and 1300s, the first online edition of the newspaper and the first student-led walkout. Just as Walt Disney made his mark on a new generation, so will we the class of 2012, who have so much energy to create A Whole New World. Along with groundbreaking firsts come nostalgic lasts. It is so important to treasure these last moments of adolescence, as we will never get them back. Soak in your last walk through the courtyard, your last attack by Soarin’ birds during lunch, your last Rosen rant, and watching your last High School Musical. Wherever you are headed for college, infinity and beyond, remember those long days spent trapped behind the red gates and be grateful that you have reached the Magic Kingdom of independence. It is not only prom and graduation that mark the end of senior year, but the time spent reading over those college acceptance letters, hanging out with friends and letting down your hair, without being afraid of getting a little Tangled up in the chaos of an unknown future. Life is not just about falling into the arms of your Prince Charming, but rather about taking risks and reaping the rewards. With all of the trials and tribulations, our lives are certainly Rock ‘n’ Roller Coasters, but the thrill of the ride is well worth the danger. In high school we have all shed our share of tears, choked up over fights with friends or terrible grades, but at the dawn of a new era, it is time to put things into perspective and to stop making Thunder Mountains out of molehills. As we embark for college life, we must learn how to live life without a Fairy Godmother or even an evil stepmother, and begin to take responsibility for our own actions, one Tower of Terror at a time. Class of 2012, we are graduating from high school, but are just learning many of the most important lessons. Step back, take a look, and say to the ones around you, “You’ve got a friend in me,” because now is the moment to begin on an Enchanted journey. Unlike Ariel, we will never have to silence our voices, because through modern technology and social media, we are just one click away from each other and will never really have to say goodbye. Once upon a time, life was about toy stories and fairy tales, but now it is about the impact we, the class of 2012, will make on the world. Good luck, good life, and remember that even though we may be adults in name, we never really have to grow up. -- LAUREN KANDELL & ERICA TURRET Northwestern Wildcat & Princeton Tiger


Page 2

The Courier

Senior Issue

April 2012

College housing allows for various options

DANIEL HARRISON Florida Gator Going off to college is one of the most exciting times of our lives. Moving out of our parents’ houses and living at school is a huge adjustment. Deciding where to live– apartment, on campus, off campus, double, triple, etc.– is an important decision, but more important is deciding who to live with. Attending a Florida school almost guarantees that we already have friends entering with us, giving us the golden opportunity to live with someone we already know. “Knowing your roommate makes the transition into college a little bit easier,” according to Florida State University freshman Daniel Hilliard, who decided to room with his best friend from high school Brent Morando. “But rooming with a random person definitely gives you a lot more opportunity to branch out and meet new people.” For Washington University at St. Louis student Jodi Small, an unknown roommate became a best friend. “It was kind of awkward at first because you don’t want to overstep your boundaries while getting to know them,” Small said. “Living together

makes you get to know someone pretty quickly, though.” Small also offers some advice to anyone hesitant about choosing to live with a random roommate. “If you put in some effort and stick to some ground rules, having a random roommate can work out well,” Small said. Senior Erin Magliozzi will attend the University of Florida this fall and has opted for a random roommate assignment. “Because a lot of my friends are going to UF, we’ll all be able to become friends with each other’s roommates, which will help us adjust to our new home,” Magliozzi said. A 2008 University of Michigan study found that roommates who make an honest effort to become friends with their roommates are happier than those reluctant to open themselves up to a stranger. “The academic environment is usually more difficult and more competitive, and moving away from the nuclear family for the first time disrupts established social support networks,” says University of Michigan psychologist Jennifer Crocker. “Along with meeting

academic challenges, creating and maintaining friendships ranks among the most important tasks of the first semester of college.” For the weary, a middle ground does exist thanks to websites dedicated to matching roommates. Roomsurf.com was founded in 2010 as a way to match incoming college students with potential roommates using a “proprietary algorithm” based on responses from a survey. Similar services, such as Roomster.com and Roommates.com, exist and some colleges, such as the University of Florida, have purchased subscriptions to the Facebook application RoomSync, all of which match roommates on similar algorithms. If you choose to room with someone you already know, then you get to skip the awkward get-to-knowyou phase. If you room with someone new, just relax and remember to be open to making a new friend because you are both in the same situation. Both sides have their pros and cons, just remember to be friendly and make the most out of your college experience.


Senior Edition 2012