December 2023 Print Lever

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THE LEVER December 2023 How Seniors Cope With Stress by Stella Reeves

Spirit Week! Monday, December 11 Twin Day Tuesday, December 12 Flannel Day Wednesday, December 13 Festive Attire Thursday, December 14 Ugly Sweater Day Friday, December 15 Pajama Day

I’ve spent seventeen years planning and dreaming about my future. So has almost every other teen in the world. But nothing is scarier than having to actually decide what you want. And planning your entire life when you are seventeen is impossible. There are so many options for what you can do after high school, like college, trade school, going straight into the workforce, and many more. But making such a huge decision and having so many options on top doing school work, sports, and other extracurriculars, can cause lots of stress. I asked students at Palmer High School what they do to cope with the stress of senior year, and how they balance everything. “Everyone says junior year is the most stressful, but for me, senior year has been SO much worse,” Salome Lloyd, a Senior at Palmer, said. She is a full time student as well as being a part of the climbing club, working, volunteering, and being a part of NHS. The past few months she has been juggling all of those things as well as touring, researching, and applying to colleges. I asked her what helps her get all of these things done and not go crazy, “I just have to find time for things that I really enjoy to help me cope with the stress” She wakes up at 6:30 AM everyday, and has school from 7:30-3 and then goes to either climbing, where she has been preparing for competition season, or she goes to work. She gets home by dinner time most nights, then has homework, and works on college applications and at some points has NHS service projects to work on, and volunteering to do. By the time she's done with all of her responsibilities, it’s late. But she doesn't always go to sleep after this. “I don't want to spend the whole day stressed, and then go to sleep stressed.” It's important to do things that calm you down when you have lots on your plate. Otherwise the stress will become too much to handle. For some students, including Salome, that can mean doing something creative. Whether it is drawing with a pencil and paper, digital art, or painting, most of her nights are spent decompressing with a craft. “I’ve been working on this one painting a lot lately, '' she said when I asked her what kinds of art she does. I saw it in her room during our interview. It’s on her desk propped up on an easel. It's a still-life of some bottles on a kitchen counter. For other students that means doing something active, such as making time to work out, or playing a sport that you love. One student I interviewed at Palmer said that no matter how busy they are or how bad the weather is, they go on a run every single evening. “I put my headphones on and...turn off my brain.” There’s lots of way students use physical activity to reduce stress, and its one of the most common ways of doing so. Some students turn to technology to calm them down. Almost all of the students I interviewed said that listening to music is their favorite way to relax and rejuvenate. Students also play video games, or watch TV shows and movies. And some even create their own through game design, photography, video production, etc. With so much going on in their lives, and so many big changes being made, and huge decisions, the Senior class at Palmer has found the importance of taking the time they need for self care, and each individual student has found the method that works best for them.

December Dates S.N.O.T (Short Night of Theatre) December 1st 7 PM @ The Auditorium Orchestra Concert 7 PM December 6th @ The Auditorium Assembly 6th Period December 8th @ The Auditorium Parade of Lights December 9th 5:50 PM Downtown Choir Concert 7 PM December 14th @ The Auditorium Band Concert 6:30 PM December 16 @ The Auditorium Sports Activities: Schedule Change (5-8 day) December 11th Final Exams December 15th-20th: See PHSLever Calendar for times

The Lever

December 2023

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Pikes Peak Rangerettes: Serving the Community by Skilly DeLoach Horseback riding is frequently seen as the easiest sport, as you ‘just sit there.’ Controlling a 1200-pound animal is difficult, but putting 20 of them together is even more intense. Galloping at full speed through a full arena, the adrenaline rush, crowd roaring, and lights flashing. The Pikes Peak Rangerette Drill Team is a high-speed precision drill team on horseback, that focuses on promoting the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo. Not only do they perform at rodeos all over the state, but they also make appearances and volunteer at numerous events around the city. Being a Pikes Peak Rangerette is more than performances, it is serving the community. Arin McCleary, second year member of the Pikes Peak Rangerettes, says, “I think the Rangerettes serve their community, but it is more than that. I think it is about creating friendships through a common passion, it is about supporting military families, as well as giving back to the community.” The profits from the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo go to support our local military families, as the Rangerettes are supporting the rodeo at numerous local events in the community. The Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo happens in July, but as Rangerettes, we have frequent practices, small rodeos and events leading up to Pikes Peak or Bust. As Rangerettes, we not only ride in rodeos, but we appear all over the city at public events, meeting amazing people and having one-of-a-kind experiences with our community. Ella Greene, a first-year member, thinks that “The Rangerettes promote the western way of life, rodeos, businesses, and we inspire little kids.” As one of the “inspired” little kids, the Rangerettes are role models, and a great representation of the Western Way. Amelia Tilden, 2022 Rangerettes Captain, says, “It is a community service organization promoting the PPOB rodeo, giving back to the military families in the Pikes Peak region, and giving girls a place to share their passion.”

Trash Talking in High School Basketball by Cami Wolkow and Walker Asp Basketball is both a mental and physical sport, when it comes to going on the court it's all fun and games until someone gets hurt. Basketball players can slowly defeat their opponents in both their play and what they say. Trash talking has been around for ages and now with social media it has become more widespread. Palmer Varsity basketball player Manny Gonzalez, an aspiring college athlete, claims that “trash talk does occur in high school basketball very often, and most of the time it is because you think someone is worse than you, and they start talking trash.” Many athletes only talk trash because it messes with their opponents' mental thoughts to throw them off their game. For some players, trash talk can seem to make them shut down and mess with their mental aspects of the game because it is so psychological. Leah Martinez states that “[for] some players it can affect them and their confidence and how they feel continuing the game. A lot of players use it to psyche someone out.” Although trash talk has always been a big part of basketball, it has grown even stronger over time. This is Gonalez’s main goal; to get into his opponent's heads and make them question their abilities so that they cannot perform their best. Many athletes even talk trash to add that competitive nature to the game. Now we know that trash talking is a big part of basketball, when does the barrier get crossed? Both Manny and Leah agree that it has gone too far once the opponents bring personal stuff into play that is not related to the game. Leah says, “Keeping it just in the game of basketball is important, there are times where things that have been said taking it way too far.” In the end it's really a personal preference. To all the buckets out there, do you trash talk and play or do you just hoop? “It’s fun, it’s basketball, it’s entertainment.”

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23-24 Issue 2

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