Facing the Phobias

Issue 21_features

Lynn Zhang
Staff Writer

Everyone has a phobia of something, whether it is of something abstract, such as the fear of failure, or of something tangible, such as spiders. They affect people’s everyday lives, especially in the school environment and in the workplace.

Phobias have deep psychological causes and implications, usually caused by stressful situations or frightening events. Luckily, there are ways to deal with, or even overcome, certain phobias. Read on to take a look at how phobias are commonly developed and how they can be overcome.

Phobias Are Not A Problem
Michelle Lin
Staff Writer

It can be hard to live a life with phobias, and that is why professional are there to help and offer advice on how to cope with certain phobias. There are plenty of resources and assistance for people with different phobias, ranging from tips on self-help to techniques that therapists use.

Helpguide, a non-profit organization, recommends trying different relaxation techniques and meditation when trying to stay calm. A person under anxiety from phobia can try relaxation techniques such as deep breathing and muscle relaxation, as these movements can help control the physical symptoms of anxiety. When self-help fails, it is time to seek help from mental health professionals. According to Mayo Clinic, the most effective treatments are exposure therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy. Therapists use exposure therapy to help patients overcome their fears by presenting their fears right in front of them. CBT is aimed to change patient’s’ way of thinking and eventually change the way he or she feel toward a certain phobia.

It is only a matter of time before people find the best way to cope with their phobias. In the near future, as more information surfaces about phobias, more treatments will become known and available to the world.

Fears and Careers
Katherine Gong
Staff Writer

Phobias come in different levels of extremes, effects and places of origin. However, phobias can affect workplaces, regardless of the type of people that endure them. For example, glossophobia, the fear of public speaking, could inhibit the rising success of a CEO or executive. Regardless, phobias both major and small could potentially alter career choices, depending on how much a person allows it to impact his or her decisions.

Major fears include agoraphobia, the fear of crowds and open spaces, and claustrophobia, the fear of closed spaces, which could impact the working environment a person chooses to adapt to. Phobias that prevent skill-building and effective communication include: bibliophobia, the fear of books; decidophobia, the fear of making decisions; and epistemophilia, the fear of knowledge. Technophobia, the fear of technology, could even limit the types of careers a person chooses to take.

According to All About Counseling, phobias can be treated with a “combination of fear-reduction conditioning, behavioral conditioning, personal counseling, and medication.” Hypnotherapy is recommended to open a patient to a calmer mindset and prevent them from reacting to real-life situations in a defensive manner. Forbes also states that women are two times more likely to be affected by career-related phobias than men. Despite this, if a person has ergophobia or the fear of work, he or she has a lot of work to do!

Phobias Affect Students
Destiny Luna
Staff Writer

Some of the most common phobias that affect students are related to anxiety and can often last months at a time impacting the student’s education. The school environment often initiates these phobias.

Public high schools vary in size but the average classroom occupancy generally ranges from about 30 to 36 students. For some, the thought of being in large crowds is nerve wrecking and has already caused students to stay at home rather than attend school. According to Do Something, an average of 10 percent of teens suffer from panic disorders. Students who suffer from agoraphobia often have panic attacks. This affects the student when they stop showing up due to their phobia. When students feel uncomfortable within the school environment, they are less likely to attend school.

Another phobia that is seen within schools would be mysophobia, the fear of germs. Schools are full of germs in the eyes of those who have mysophobia. Those with mysophobia believe that they must always be clean. They are so distracted by the germs that they begin to lose focus in class and their education.

The Origins of Phobias
Jesse Rosales
Staff Writer

From cognitive learning to influencing phobias, the adolescent years absorb the most information in human development. A Harvard Medical School study analyzed that children look up at adults with trust and place their emotional and physical needs. The trust children give their caregivers leads children to avoid things that adults mark as dangerous. People often develop a fear of closed spaces if they had an experience of being trapped when they were a child. The study went on to also analyze that people can learn phobias from family members who have similar fears.

Researchers do not know what causes complex phobias, such social phobias. However, it is thought that genetics, brain chemistry and life experiences all play a part in the development of complex phobias. The physical reactions a person experiences, when faced with their fear, is generally considered a reaction to something immediate that threatens their security or safety. The emotion of fear is an indicator that a species could physically be harmed. Fight or flight is considered a fear response and is the behavior of various species when they are threatened.
Phobias have protected humans from predators and other threats to their survival. It is no wonder that certain dangers evoke that emotion since fear helps protect and is, therefore, adaptive, functional and necessary.

Poll: Greatest Fear

What is your greatest fear?

Poll collected by Katherine Gong and Jesse Rosales
Staff Writers

Graphics by Xiaoye Wang
Staff Writer

Mia Takasaki
Staff Writer


1. What is one of the most known phobias?
A) arachibutyrophobia
B) arachnophobia
C) cynophobia
D) bibliophobia

2. What is cibophobia?
A) fear of ugliness
B) fear of clowns
C) fear of food
D) fear of dogs

3. What is the fear of getting peanut butter stuck to the roof of your mouth?
A) arachibutyrophobia
B) acrophobia
C) anthropophobia
D) arachnophobia

4. What is nyctophobia?
A) entomophobia
B) bibliophobia
C) spectrophobia
D) fear of darkness

Answers: (1)B, (2)C, (3)A, (4)D

Level Up Gaming Club Helps Students Build Friendships, Develop Gaming Skills



Staff Writer

The Level Up Gaming Club is the first club at AHS that allows students to connect with each other through all types gaming.

According to club president Andy Chiang, Level Up Gaming Club aims to help its members develop better communication skills and foster new friendships. The club provides members an environment in which they are able to openly share their passion for video games. In turn, this interaction allows members to familiarize themselves with one another and form new bonds.

“The hope is that [the club] can use games as a medium to facilitate new relationships between students, promote collaborative thinking and develop effective communication,” Chiang said.

Members of the club can expect to play and compete in a wide variety of games from multiplayer online battle arenas such as League of Legends to first person shooters like Call of Duty. The club emphasizes multiplayer games, so members also play board games. The games serve as a means to improve one’s thinking, reasoning and strategy.

On March 26, the club held its first League of Legends tournament for AHS students. The tournament consisted of 18 teams, each made up of five players. All five members of the winning team were to receive in-game currency, provided by the club, with which they could use to buy a variety of aesthetic upgrades for the game.

Given that the tournament was the first of its kind, participants such as senior Bocheng Song felt that there was much to be improved.

“[I felt that] the tournament was pretty unorganized,” Song said. “Whenever teams were missing a player, matches were delayed until a substitute could be found. For future tournaments, I would recommend that participants get to make their own teams.”

When asked to comment on the randomization of team, Chiang stated that it was the nature of the event itself to be randomized.

“The tournament was mostly for fun and [that was the reason] why teams were randomly created,” Chiang said.

“However, many felt that it was competitive since there was a [prize involved].”

Chiang hopes that, in the coming years, Level Up Gaming Club will be able to grow in size and become more well-known within the school, something they have not been able to accomplish due to the club’s recent formation.

“Unfortunately, the club wasn’t able to be a part of any of ASB events like Open House so we weren’t really able to advertise the club much,” Chiang said. “[In the future], we hope to set up events on a regular basis and further connect students through gaming.”

AHS Prospect Season Encourages Students to Join Service Clubs

Staff Writers

As the school year comes to an end, service clubs at AHS have begun to prepare themselves for the recruitment of new club members.

Each spring, students are given the opportunity to join one of 10 service clubs that seek to aid the community in various ways. The current service clubs are LASO, Junior Civitan, Kokua Lima, Leo, Key, United Royals, Campus, Interact, Kaibigan and Pequenitas.

“Although the clubs may differ in size, environment and service attendance, each [allows] prospective members the ability to serve the community while meeting new people and making new friendships that may last for a long time,” Campus general member Zhayne Tanyag said.

From promotional events to charities, club members volunteer their time to help community events run smoothly and efficiently. Such events include the Electric Run, Color Run, Elevators are for Wimps and Firecracker Run. At these events, service clubs perform a variety of tasks to help event organizers as well as event participants.
“I love being in [a service club.] I have met so many people who have the same interest as I do and people [who] actually care about the community,” LASO webmaster Stephanie Rubalcava said.

All service clubs share a similar application process: they use stamp cards given in the beginning of prospect season. Each club holds two open meetings in which officers and members can explain the purpose of the club and how the club functions. Club socials, in which club members and prospective members will have time to socialize and interact with each other, are organized. At these events, there were also games to help members and prospects introduce themselves to each other. Lastly, clubs will hold a fundraiser that all prospects are encouraged to attend.

Before being considered for acceptance, prospective club members must complete a certain set of prerequisites. To be entered into the raffle, students must also complete a minimum of ten approved service hours. Additionally, each prospect earns one stamp for every club event they attend. At the end of the tryouts, the stamps will be entered into a raffle. The more stamps a prospect has, the higher his or her chances of getting into the club will be. Most clubs require that prospective members only attend one of two open meetings. The club social and fundraiser are optional.

“I believe the [raffle] system is definitely fair; it allows everyone to have an equal opportunity to be a part of a service club. Service clubs [serve] as a great way to support our school spirit and spread awareness,” ASB Assistant to Clubs Rodger Lee said.

However, some people believe that joining service clubs is unnecessary.

“Service clubs are not necessary for community service because there are other ways to do community service,” junior Kassandra Sanchez.

In addition, various individuals assert that the time devoted to a service club may interfere with their schedules.
“[Service clubs can] be time consuming and [take up time that can be used for] homework, friends, family and other extracurricular activities,” sophomore Dakota Dena said.

Stop Blaming Teachers, Start Changing

Issue 20 Top Editorial


Staff Writer

Teachers are with students every step of the way on their path toward education. Without teachers, students would not be able to obtain the knowledge they need to be successful in the future. Despite the fact that teachers are important factors in the lives of students, they are often taken for granted. Students need to be more appreciative of teachers and realize how much their guidance actually supports students.

Students are constantly offered support from teachers but most are too oblivious to see this. For example, teachers often attempt to encourage and motivate students by asking them to participate in class. Although students may overlook this action and see it as teachers “forcing” them into participating, we need to remember that teachers are not singling out students to criticize for incorrect answers. They are simply encouraging students to participate confidently regardless of whether or not their answer is correct. By doing this, students can learn from possible mistakes and obtain confidence to speak up and share. Furthermore, a majority of teachers also offer additional support by having afterschool tutoring to help those who want further assistance. Although teachers are not required to provide afterschool tutoring, they offer it to help students who are in need. Afterchool tutoring shows that teachers are dedicated to giving students options to succeed, something we as students must appreciate and take advantage of.

Despite the fact that teachers are constantly providing support for students, they are often accused of assigning too much homework. Students are mistaking these actions and seeing them as ways to overwork them. However, students should understand that teachers assign homework to help students practice and familiarize themselves with concepts. Even when the workload seems unreasonable, it is always possible to balance out one’s homework with proper time management. Instead of making accusations, students should understand that their education is theirs. Teachers are providing students with all the tools necessary to be successful but it is solely up to us as students to take advantage of them. It is time for students to stop with the accusations and unappreciative attitudes. Students need to start appreciating the efforts of teachers by thanking them or at least acknowledging how they are helping us.

Ultimately, teachers play an active role in the lives of students. Teachers support students on a daily basis and work towards being proud educators. It is preposterous that teachers are blamed or disrespected by students when they are the ones that are trying to help students. Students need to stop pointing their fingers at teachers and start examining themselves.

ASB Campaigns Begin New Student Leadership


Staff Writer

2014 ASB campaigns have arrived, and elections are just around the corner. On March 26, the official candidacy list was posted at the SGR and Business Activities.

ASB candidates officially began their campaigns on March 27 and will continue until April 7. During these two weeks, candidates can advertise their goals and appeal to student voters by promoting themselves through flyers and posters approved by ASB adviser Jocelyn Castro.

“I hope for next year’s ASB to be considerate of the majority of the students’ opinions, as well as make every student feel welcome and ready to learn. I also wish that ASB can do their best to support the various talented teams that we have at our school,” Director of Campus Environment Nathan Tran said.

ASB candidacy is open to all students. Students who would like to apply for an appointed or cabinet position must set an appointment with Castro by April 14, and interviews will be held on April 18. Candidates are required to record a prepared speech; a video with all the speeches will be broadcasted throughout lunch on April 3 and April 4 during the meet and greet, in which candidates can appeal to the students by meeting them face-to-face. Elections will be simultaneously held at the Quad.

“I believe that what ASB is currently doing is great. The pep rallies we’re doing keep the students more involved in student activities,” ASB Staff Assistant Anna Xie said.

A Drop in the Dependency

Staff Writer

Almost every student is warned not to take drugs or smoke cigarettes. Statistics, shown through PowerPoint slides and lectures, warn us against the dangers of drug use. However, recent studies by HealthDay News claim that less than 20 percent of Americans still smoke cigarettes. This is progress, considering that in 1990, 25.5 percent of Americans were smokers. In addition, according to HealthDay, increasing tobacco prices is the most effective way to reduce smoking.

At school, students learn that smoking is a villain in the world of innocent children. Teachers and program advisors tell students that smoking will damage lungs and lead to lung cancer. Cigarettes contain at least 69 chemicals that can cause cancer, as well as the other 181 harmful chemicals within tobacco smoke.

In addition, the alcohol consumption among young students has also declined. According to the Potsdam State University website, a survey showed that high school seniors who consumed alcohol at least five times within the previous two weeks have decreased from 41.2 percent in 1980 to 23.2 percent in 2010.

Approximately 5,000 youth under the age of 21 die each year from alcohol abuse, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. This is not surprising, considering the fact that alcohol consumption is the third leading cause of global disease and injury.

Best Out of Stress

Staff Writer

High school is a time many students experience, often filled with drama and many problems that can naturally cause stress and more. Most teenagers are unaware of how to relieve stress and the effects that stress could bring upon a student.

Stress is an inevitable problem among people, and it can affect a person’s mental and physical health. Mental stress can bring about symptoms such as being moody or frustrated, having low self-esteem and feeling overwhelmed. Physical stress can cause low energy, headaches, insomnia. Stress causes many negative symptoms to the body; however, there are solutions to managing stress.

According to WebMD, the first step to managing stress is to figure what is causing stress and why, along with finding an activity to unload the stress out. A person’s environment also plays a role in their stress factor. Messy rooms and disorganized papers often cause anxiety, and the solution is to clean and organize. A hobby that clears one’s mind, such as reading or running, is an easy solution to ease stress. Surrounding oneself with people that are not stressed is helpful since people often mimic actions and emotions from people in their life.

Stress can be very dangerous and bothersome, though it is hard to manage and deal with, there are many solutions. Resolutions that would relieve the body for a more successful and healthy future.

Don’t Tip the Balance

Staff Writer

As high school students, there are many things we have to balance: school work, family, friends, extracurricular activities. Sometimes having to worry about all of these results in an imbalance of activities, yet not one of these factors can be eliminated if we wish to have a bright future and be happy at the same time. There are, however, many ways to relieve this problem so that all aspects of high school life will be balanced.

Managing one’s workload requires one to be on top of their homework by recording or keeping track of what is due. A schedule helps some, as it gives a time frame for each assignment to be completed within a reasonable amount of time, as well as ensuring one has time for other activities, such as sports and clubs.

As for balancing school and social life, one can always ensure that their classes do not stress them out too much, as well as keeping on top of assignments. Though having a social life is enjoyable, prioritizing that above schoolwork often results in lower grades. Therefore, one needs to analyze how much time is needed to be allotted for homework and for their free time in order to find a balance between the two. Creating better study habits, such as working in an area away from distractions, also allows for a student to get homework done efficiently and on time.

Stop Chasing Pavements

Staff Writer

On one particularly exhausting night, a high school student pauses working to contemplate: why am I losing sleep over studying? When in my life will I need to know what I’m learning? What makes me obligated to strive for academic excellence, rather than be content with an easier life?

These questions are not always easy to answer. However, being able to say in the future that your career is meaningful, whether it is through helping others or exploring a talent that you love, is a source of pride which cannot be understated.

For teenagers already struggling with maintaining friendships, overbearing parents and crippling insecurity, school can be nothing short of an enormous pain. Yet, the oft-repeated saying really is true: education is important. Students often want to see a direct link between education and success, or else school seems like a waste of time. For now, learning can be its own reward. Students have opportunities now to enlighten themselves. They could find out what makes antibiotics work, how airplanes stay up or how to write a great novel. Later on in their life, they might not have the chance.

“But I’m hopeless as a student. I can’t become anything special,” some might say. A person does not need to be extraordinary in order to have a rewarding life. One does not have to become an astronaut, a brain surgeon or the next Steve Jobs to be considered successful. Someone is incredible as long as they strive to be the best person they can be, whether that person is a guidance counselor setting students on the right path or a t-shirt designer pleasing shoppers with adorable drawings.

Figure out what you want to do with your future. Follow your dreams, and have fun in the process. It might appear to be a long shot now, but even if it does not end up working out, you want to be able to say that you tried.

Emergency Rooms are for Emergencies Only

Opinions Editor

Remember those kids in elementary school who would throw tantrums if they didn’t get what they wanted? Teachers would employ a variety of disciplinary tactics, from giving a time-out to sending them to the principal’s office. However, despite the extensive training teachers have to go through, there have been incidents in which teachers and schools do not handle these issues appropriately.

According to Education News, there have been incidents involving certain special needs kids being locked in solitary classrooms, given crayons covered in hot sauce and sent to emergency rooms for tantrums.

According to Disability Scoop, the parents of six New York City students are suing the city and the local Department of Education, claiming that the schools called ambulances due to a lack of proper procedures or staff in place to deal with behavioral outbursts. The parents then received massive bills for ambulance transport and hospitalization, in addition to spending hours in the ER.

It is true that many schools are struggling to accommodate students due to factors such as funding cuts, overcrowding and school closures, but sending “difficult” students to the ER does not seem to be an adequate solution to the problem.

Teachers are required to participate in certain credential programs, which includes child development. The credential programs have separate steps and guidelines depending on the type of teaching they are interested in. Therefore, such well-trained teachers should already have the tools they need to deal with “problem kids,” and not have to resort to sending kids to the ER, regardless of being understaffed.

It is not the ER’s responsibility to deal with misbehavior; it is the student’s, teachers’ and school’s.

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