International Disaster Relief; mental health meetings; social media overuse; appearance standards

Natalie Cohlmia: Developing countries: International disaster relief should not be based on status

When a disaster strikes, developed countries respond promptly with funds and adequate supplies for other developed countries, but must begin to have the same response for developing countries.

When Notre Dame Cathedral in France was destroyed by fire in 2019, help came immediately. Over a 10-day period, $835 million was donated, including a $100,000 donation from the University of Notre Dame in Indiana. “There is no direct correlation between the cathedral and the university,” according to CNN. On the contrary, very little financial aid was distributed after a 2020 explosion destroyed much of Beirut, Lebanon. That disaster killed 218 people and caused $3.8 billion to $4.6 billion in damage, according to Al Jazeera. COVID has already hit this country hard so this blast has since dragged the country into economic decline full of corruption. Private donations outweighed the little international aid Lebanon received, and that’s a problem. As a first-generation American of Lebanese background, this apparent split in response to the disasters irks me.

This problem is felt in most developing countries and is unacceptable. When a disaster strikes in cheaper countries like France, a pool of donations and international aid pours in because of that country’s economic situation. If the same type of event occurs in a less favorable country like Lebanon, an immediate response is doubtful due to that country’s economic status.

I believe that the international response after a disaster must be the same in every country, regardless of economic status. Developed countries must do better. We have to do better.

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Natalie Cohlmia, Boulder

Jason May: Mental health: CU could have mandatory mental health meetings

Many important social and mental skills were lost during the COVID-19 pandemic and their enforced isolation. Students who endured the pandemic during their high school careers are now transitioning to college. Colleges need to have programs to help identify those struggling with mental health.

For example, during my sophomore year of high school, when the COVID-19 pandemic began, school went virtual and continued virtual until mid-Junior year. It felt like I was missing out on part of my high school experience. Missing out on so many social events and happenings has robbed me of the social skills I’ve had throughout my life.

I’m from Dunwoody, GA and came to Boulder, CO. I am very far from my home. When I entered college and didn’t know anyone, I had to move to a new room, live in another state, and attend school at the same time. With all these new aspects of college thrown at me, I never found enough time for myself to make sure I was okay. Instead of focusing on my mental health and making sure it was in a good place, I focused on other things like school, Greek life and social events. Having programs to help reach out and identify those students who need help with transition or even for other reasons could play a big part in improving mental health. The University of Colorado at Boulder may start a program where every student has a mandatory meeting with a mental health counselor every two weeks. This forces students to practice speaking about their problems and gives them a chance to work on them with someone experienced in the field.

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Jason May, Boulder

Tyler Christian: Mental Health: Teach Kids to Be Aware of Overuse of Social Media

According to Health Line, 85% of children reported negative effects on self-esteem, 85% negative effects on self-image, 83% an increase in anxiety, and 81% an increase in loneliness after using social media. Having experienced these negative side effects firsthand, I can agree with the confidentiality that social media is one of the main contributors to these problems and we need to regulate their use by younger people. It is known to affect child development by making children inattentive, antisocial and can even lead to addiction. This problem has been increasing year after year and it is time to address it and make a change to save future generations.

To address these issues, it is important to teach young people to be aware of their social media use and the potential risks of overuse. Parents and educators should also take steps to educate teens about the potential risks of overuse and the importance of setting yourself limits on the time you spend on social media. It’s important to teach teens to be open and honest with adults in their lives, such as parents, teachers, or counselors, when they are experiencing negative effects from social media. By taking these steps, we can help young people maintain a healthy balance between their online and offline lives.

Tyler Christian, Boulder

Austin Lamkin: Appearance: Stop putting good looks first

People are so focused on their looks that they put their looks ahead of much more important things, which will destroy confidence. So people will undergo cosmetic surgery hoping to “look better”, which will supposedly make them “feel better” and heal their insecurities and shyness. But does this cosmetic surgery actually have a significant impact on it?

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People just need to stop caring so much about how they look in public and instead care more about who they are and how they act in public. Sometimes the smallest things can control every aspect of someone’s life. But for the future, if you find yourself in this situation, step back and ask, “Are these bad things about me really true?” Probably the answer is always no, not everyone thinks the same thing about you. Everyone has different perspectives, and people should love you for who you are as a person, not for any of your physical attributes.

Society needs to stop putting good looks first. It is unhealthy and can be harmful to certain groups of people. Plastic surgery can make you feel better about yourself, but is it worth getting it from you based on other people’s perspectives? Comparing yourself to others is one of the worst things you can do to yourself. Instead of sinking into sadness over the things you don’t like about yourself, find the things you love about yourself and embrace them. Don’t listen to what society has to say about you, listen to what you have to say about yourself.

Austin Lamkin, Boulder

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