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OPINION

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WEDNESDAY, FEB. 9, 2011 |

African nation gives America inspiration Andrea Robertson OPINION COLUMNIST

Take television screens, computers and cell phone networks away from Americans and you will find total chaos within a matter of minutes — yet this may be the only way for us to truly grasp today’s valuable issues. This is not to say that Americans are different from other nations. Any country already accustomed to this lifestyle would have a stronger relapse than a drug addict trying to get clean. But perhaps it is time to reevaluate our priorities and dig a little deeper into what is honestly essential to our country. The small but courageous country of Egypt is fighting one of its greatest endeavors. The struggles of poverty have gone on for far too long with a whopping 50 percent of Egypt below the poverty line. What’s worse is that the Egyptian government’s first defense to bring down all cell phone networks and Internet

coverage so as not to let the number of protestors grow, according to CNN.com. It is true that America may not be facing the same hardships as this African country, but that doesn’t mean other crucial issues do not exist before our very eyes. When the horrors of the Vietnam War became visible to everyday citizens, youth revolts sparked across the country. During the Civil Rights Movement, Americans banded together. During the fight for Women’s Suffrage protestors picketed directly outside the gates of the White House. If all of these groups of people didn’t feel the need for protest, none of the incredible outcomes would have come to pass. If the vibrant and tenacious leaders of these movements hadn’t ever complained or felt inspiration for change, so many cruelties

would have been left in place. We have been waging an immense multi-billion dollar war that has been going on for almost ten years. Just because the aftermath has not yet been witnessed by the American public does not mean that things are not occurring behind a veil of deception. If our entire youth were to come together with one common goal we would able to

achieve many things. There is so much room for change yet we are hesitant to take the initial plunge into it. We are scared, but what we need to realize is that numbers tell all in a country where government has found the perfect solution to keep mouths shut — keep the citizens of your country unconcerned and happy. How do they accomplish it? Let’s create a system in which media gives the illusion of joy through complete entertainment available to us at all times and compliance will be accomplished with ease. Egypt is protesting without the First Amendment to back them up. We have all the utensils we need to be heard. The best part about it is that there are so many opportunities to do your part — you can approach it musically by writing signifi-

cant lyrics, you can go with a creative twist by painting an inspiring truth or hit it hard in a legal manner by immersing yourself in changing new laws. These are just glimpses into what can be done. The night is always darkest before the dawn, if the situation carries on this way, we will never progress to new levels of humane living. Let’s take some time to genuinely consider the problems at hand that could potentially be solved by protest. Our university’s tuition has just seen a 5 percent increase and it seems this will only continue to grow. The subject of our education alone is reason enough to stand up. Whether you wish to protest the current war, the escalating prices of college or anything else close to your heart, just know that the effort alone is priceless. Expand your mind. Expand the minds of others. For the possibilities of mere opposition are endless.

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THUMBS >> Thumbs Up to Punxsutawney Phil. Looks like you actually got it right this time, buddy.

Thumbs Down to hulu.com selling out. We thought you were on our side.

Thumbs Up to pandora. com’s new feature that shows what friends are listening to. Welcome to the rest of the Web stalking world.

Andrea Robertson can be reached at arobertson@theorion.com ILLUSTRATION BY ASHLEY VIEGAS

Anxiety weighs heavy on student shoulders Serena Cervantes

ILLUSTRATION BY ASHLEY VIEGAS

OPINION COLUMNIST

Confusion becomes fashionable August Walsh OPINION COLUMNIST

It’s dinner time and I’m wearing pajama pants, flip flops and a $2 T-shirt I purchased from a thrift store that makes me look like a director of a cruise ship. It must be a Monday, because my clothes don’t lie. While this combination of awkward apparel might qualify as questionable at best, there are certain wardrobe choices that I see students wearing every day on campus that may or may not be as questionable as my own attire. Within the past couple of months, I have been noticing that some women have been wearing leggings or stockings with either a long shirt or short skirt over it. I approached a friend of mine recently who was wearing this outfit and asked her about it. She claimed that she was wearing her “pants” under her dress because it’s the new hip trend and made her look good. I completely agreed with her that it was a very attractive look, but there was one problem I had with it. Too many people are considering their leggings or stockings as pants, which they shouldn’t be doing. What I consider as a pair of pants is any article of clothing below the waist that I can adjust with a belt or a string. Leggings don’t really apply because it has neither. Let’s face it, I can take a sock and put it on my head and while it might be the new trend and make me look good and fashionable, it’s not a hat — it’s still just a sock. The same goes for people who wear beanies. If a friend of mine were to wear a really nice beanie, I wouldn’t say to them, “I really like your

hat.” I would instead say, “Nice beanie.” A few examples of what I do consider as nicer choices of pants would be khakis, blue jeans and suit pants, all of which require a belt nearly all of the time. Sweatpants and pajama pants would fall under the category of “comfort pants” because of the string used to keep them stretchy. I know you’re probably jumping out of your seat and yelling at me, “What about yoga pants and jeggings? They definitely count as pants!” To those people, I would say that yoga pants are the middle child of the pants family. Technically, it counts as a family ■ VIDEO Watch August member, but I’d like to pretend as he highlights it’s not. There is the possibility that current fashion I haven’t yet understood the trends. reasoning behind considering leggings or stockings as pants, because I have never seen a pair of them come out for men. If I were to wear a pair of leggings, then maybe I could comprehend why some choose to call them pants. It’s not that I don’t consider them typical clothing that the average college student will wear, it’s that I get frustrated when there’s a basic discrepancy about what to call an article of clothing. How can you focus on anything else? It’s like finding an ink spot on a beautiful painting or seeing food in someone’s teeth — you can’t get your mind off of it. Maybe I am just being overly critical about what does and doesn’t classify as a form of pants but for now, I will just keep calling them leggings. August Walsh can be reached at awalsh@theorion.com

I don’t mean to sound like a commercial, but if you have anxiety, you’re not alone. This past week marked a serious turning point in recognizing that I can’t deal with anxiety anymore. I mean, it’s not that I won’t deal with it — it just means that I can’t handle the ramifications of anxiety. It has been interfering with my life for too long and it’s gotten to the point where now I have to surrender. So I’m seeking counseling to deal with it. For people who don’t have anxiety, understanding people who do have an anxiety disorder is far from easy. It’s not the fault of people who don’t have the disorder if they don’t understand, it’s just that extreme anxiety doesn’t make sense to them. The behaviors of people who do have anxiety are based on irrational beliefs that go unchecked — that’s why so much of what they do looks or sounds absurd. Recently, I tried to move into a new home on Hickory Street where I was to rent out a room. The rent was cheap and the location was closer to the university than my previous apartment, so I thought I’d give it a go. The roommates were nice, but I noticed that there were a lot of people coming in and out of the place, since it was in the “college” part of town. I was used to having only one roommate and being alone most of the time. By the time I moved everything into my new room, I looked around, aimlessly going through my stuff, trying to unpack. My heart started racing. The voices of my new roommates, their friends and the neighbors were overbearing and too loud, the smell of cigarette smoke alarmed me and I watched my window as it began to get darker and darker as the sun went down. I couldn’t help but cry as I thought my life was being threatened by this different environment. I felt as if

I was in jail — people were abandoning me — I was completely alone in the world — I couldn’t breathe — I needed someone to hug me — hold my hand — I couldn’t think — my life was ruined — this was a stupid decision — I wouldn’t finish college — I’m going to die. See? Completely irrational. That same night, I called up a friend to come get me and take me back to my old apartment where I felt sane with my old roommate. The next day I paid the tenants at the Hickory Street place $250, packed up my things and headed home. The nightmare on Hickory Street is an extreme example of my anxiety. I could’ve given the new location a chance. I could’ve made some new friends. I could’ve been paying cheaper rent. I could’ve, could’ve, could’ve but just couldn’t. The truth is though, I wasn’t ready to move. That wasn’t the change I needed. I needed therapy to deal with a force that needs to be reckoned with. I’m not an expert on anxiety, but I’ve been dealing with it ever since I was a kid. So, the disorder and my bad habits are going to be hard to break. I sabotage romantic relationships and procrastinate on assignments. I’ve flunked a few classes because of it, evaded family functions or even just human contact. I don’t speak up in class, mainly because whenever I do my heart palpitates so fast I can’t catch my breath, and I don’t socialize as much as I should. I have a long way to go. The first thing I have to change are the ideas attached to my thought patterns. Most of the time, they’re negative selfcriticisms tormenting me in my head. In the words of a commercial, if you’re like me, or if you know someone who is, I would encourage you to get counseling for anxiety to rid yourself of unnecessary hurdles in life and start living it instead.

Thumbs Down to Kim Kardashian in the Sketchers Shape-ups commercial. Not even she can make those things cool.

Thumbs Up to the new lighting by the Wildcat Recreation Center.

Thumbs Down to Kanye West’s new music video. First you ruin your decent music and now you’re taking Jay-Z and Nicki Minaj down with you.

Thumbs Up to the Packers winning the Super Bowl. That’ll do, Rodgers. That’ll do.

Thumbs Down to the demeaning and offensive Super Bowl commercials. Remind me why I watch these things again.

Serena Cervantes can be reached at scervantes@theorion.com

PIECE OF MIND >> What fashion trends annoy you the most? “When girls wear Uggs with dresses and when people wear sunglasses at night.”

Tiffany Young freshman | undeclared

“When girls wear just legging with no shorts or skirt covering them.”

Ariel Ellis

sophomore | psychology

“Wearing clothes that aren’t fit for the weather.”

Steve Kellam

senior | anthropology

“I would have to say ripped jeans, when they have huge holes in them on purpose. I find it slightly ridiculous.”

Thomas Baggett senior | recreation

The Orion  

Chico State's independent newspaper

The Orion  

Chico State's independent newspaper

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