International disaster aid; mental health meetings; social media overuse; appearance standards


Natalie Cohlmia: Developing nations: International disaster aid shouldn’t be based on status

When disaster strikes, developed countries respond promptly with funds and proper supplies for other developed countries, but need to start having the same response for developing countries.

Back in 2019, when the Notre Dame Cathedral in France was destroyed by a fire, aid was immediate. In the span of 10 days, $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, there was very little financial aid distributed after an explosion ruined much of Beirut, Lebanon in 2020. This disaster took the lives of 218 people and caused $3.8-4.6 billion in damage, according to Al Jazeera. COVID already struck this country hard, so this explosion lead the country to an economic downfall full of corruption ever since. Private donations outweighed the little international aid Lebanon received, and that is a problem. As a first-generation American myself, coming from a Lebanese background, this obvious split between the responses to the disasters angers me.

This problem is noticeable across most developing countries and it is unacceptable. When disaster strikes in more favorable countries like France, a pool of donations and international aid swarms in because of the economic status of that country. When the same type of event happens in a less favorable country like Lebanon, a prompt response is doubtful because of the economic status of that country.

I believe the international response following disaster needs to be equal in every country, no matter the economic status. Developed countries need to do better. We need to do better.

Natalie Cohlmia, Boulder

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

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and its forced isolation, many vital social and mental skills were lost. Students who went through the pandemic during the meat of their high school career are the ones now moving into college. Colleges must have programs to help identify those individuals who are struggling with mental health.

For example, during my sophomore year in high school when the COVID-19 pandemic started, school went virtual and continued virtually until midway through my junior year. It felt like I was missing out on part of my high school experience. Missing out on so many social events and occurrences took away from the social skills that I had put together throughout my life.

I am from Dunwoody, GA, and came to Boulder, CO. I am very far away from my home. When I came to college and knew nobody, I had to move into a new room, live in a different state, and do school all at the same time. With all these new aspects of college being thrown at me, I never found enough time for myself to make sure I was okay. Rather than focusing on my mental health and making sure that was in a good place, I was focused on other things such as school, Greek Life, and social events. Having programs to help reach out and identify those students who need help with the transition or even any other reason would be able to play a big role in improving mental health. The University of Colorado at Boulder can start a program where every student has a mandatory meeting with a mental health advisor once every two weeks. This will force students to practice talking about their issues, and give them an opportunity to work on them with a skilled individual in the field.

Jason May, Boulder

Tyler Christian: Mental health: Teach kids to be aware of over using social media

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

To address these problems, it is important to teach adolescents to be aware of their social media usage and the potential risks of over-usage. Parents and educators should also take the steps to educate adolescents about the potential risks of over-usage, as well as the importance of setting boundaries for themselves in terms of the time they spend on social media. It is important to help teach adolescents to be open and honest with adults in their lives, such as parents, teachers, or counselors if they are experiencing any of the negative effects of social media. By taking these steps, we can help adolescents to maintain a healthy balance between their online and offline lives.

Tyler Christian, Boulder

Austin Lamkin: Appearance: Stop portraying good looks above all

People are so focused on their looks that they put their appearance before much more important things, which will destroy confidence. So, people will get cosmetic surgeries in the hope of making themselves “look better,” which will supposedly make them “feel better” and cure their insecurities and timidity. But, do these cosmetic surgeries actually have a significant effect on that?

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 littlest things can control every aspect of someone’s life. But for the future, when found in that situation, take a step back and ask, “Are these bad things about myself really true?” Chances are the answer is always no, not everyone thinks the same way of you. Everyone has different perspectives, and people should love you for who you are as a person, not for some physical feature of yours.

Society needs to stop portraying good looks above all. It’s unhealthy and can be detrimental to specific groups of people. Plastic surgery might make you feel better, but is it worth getting it based on other people’s perspectives of you? Comparing yourself to others is one of the worst things you can do to yourself. Instead of soaking in sadness about 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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