Local News

Young Observers: Early February Edition

A couple of weeks ago, a family from Anaheim shared the story of their 14-year-old son who committed suicide after feeling hopeless that he wouldn’t be able to go back to in-person learning anytime soon because of  the pandemic. The chief psychologist at Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) also reported that calls from parents regarding mental health issues have doubled during this difficult time (nbclosangeles.com 19Jan2021). We are all aware that poor mental health  is often associated with suicides, which is currently the tenth leading cause of death, according to the National Institute for Mental Health. That means there are  many teens out there struggling to stay alive.  Most of them may not even want to seek professional treatment.  And who knows? One day we, too,  might wake up and find ourselves in the “dumps.” Is there something we can do?  YES! We can do something for ourselves and for the teens out there, beginning with our friends and schoolmates.


Three months into the pandemic, I started feeling depressed. Then, I learned the concept of self-love.   “Learn to love yourself before you love others” is a piece of advice that has helped me survive the past months. I have learned to actively pursue the things that make me happy.  I adopted two bunnies and they inspire me to look forward to bonding with them everyday. I have learned to watch K-Dramas (Korean TV dramas), which turn out to be addicting, and I end up looking forward to the new episodes. I realized life can get exciting when there is something to look forward to.

Cheer Squad

I have my group of friends from school that I chat with regularly.  It is quite a big group and some have stopped joining the conversations. While it may be a normal occurrence in friendships thinking of those who may be feeling “blue,” I figured it would be a good idea for us to reach out to those who have transitioned to quiet mode.  Many teens may not be inclined to deal with mental health professionals but they may be more comfortable opening up to fellow students who can help them get out of the “dumps” through the simple gesture of friendship. School-issued emails can be used for chatting and growing friendships. Soon, video conference apps like  Discord and Zoom can be used for an opportunity to have a “face-to-face” conversation. It’s easier said than done, but we should help each other defeat an invisible enemy. It is like being part of a “cheer squad” whose mission is to beat the lonely hearts club.

Free Virtual Calming Room for You & Your Friends

It is only recently that I thought of trying the “virtual calming room” offered by the Fullerton Joint Union High School District and found it truly engaging.  The activities offered there can be done alone or with friends online.  There are nine different activities:  Guided Meditation, ranging from 1 to 20 minutes, guides you in resting your mind; Journaling provides interesting topics that you can reflect on like a source of joy you have discovered; Coloring uses digital tools to add color and effects to digital art; Puzzles & Word Searches  can be fun especially when you compete with friends; Sounds & Music focuses on specific sounds like rain and thunder or piano music;  Visual Relaxation shows nature scenes like snow fall; Live Animal Cam shows animals in their locations like a koala in San Diego Zoo; Yoga and Exercise.

This virtual calming room is available on the website of Fullerton Joint Union High School District under Mental Health (https://sites.google.com/fjuhsd.org/fjuhsd-virtual-calming-room/home). There are other virtual calming rooms available online, also.

If you wish to form a “Cheer Squad” and need help or guidance, you may email me at contact@fullertonobserver.com.

Have you ever felt like you wanted to talk to someone or felt lonely? Especially during quarantine, feelings like these are common. With Time To Talk Day coming up on February 6, it’s the perfect time to open up and talk to others. The day is all about mental health and opening up to others around you. You could talk to anyone—a close friend, your parents, or even a therapist. Opening up may be difficult but it’s a great time to try on this holiday.

The holiday was made in 2014 by The Time To Change social movement. They wanted to get rid of the stigma about mental health and help people open up about their feelings, even when it feels impossible to. In a time like this, it’s extremely important to keep talking to others when you’re feeling low. If it’s difficult for you to start a conversation, the Time To Change social movement has a website all about starting a conversation with someone at https://www.time-to-change.org.uk/get-involved/time-talk-day. You can support the cause and find your own way of opening up.

American actress and singer, Olivia Rodrigo’s latest debut single, “Driver’s License” now stands as No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and broke Spotify’s record for the most streamed song in the span of a week. With around 107 million worldwide streams, the 17-year-old’s debut is both a historic moment in the music industry and a fresh start for the new year.

While Rodrigo’s pop-ballad illustrates the story of a heartbreak, fans speculate that the basis for Rodrigo’s heartbreak revolves around her High School Musical: The Musical: The Series’ co-star, Joshua Bassett.  He has also recently released his single, “Lie, Lie, Lie.” Many have noticed the similarities between Rodrigo and Bassett’s songs, and some have theorized “Lie, Lie, Lie” is a response to “Driver’s License.”

Have you ever wanted to play a game where you can escape from prison and catch wanted criminals? Jailbreak is the game for you. Maybe you prefer raising pets, designing your own house, and trading with other players. In that case, Adopt Me is a great game. Perhaps you want to create your very own game for other players to enjoy. All of those things are possible on one specific platform—Roblox. With over 150 million players and counting, Roblox does not show signs of slowing down any time soon.

Roblox was founded and created in 2006 by David Baszucki and Erik Cassel. It was meant to be a platform where people could create games and bring their imagination to life while also playing the creations of fellow players. As time went on, more and more people were drawn in by the creative idea, and soon enough, it started booming, with many creators and even more players pitching in to help make Roblox a fantastic platform.

There are many different genres of games on Roblox, ranging from role-playing games to parkour and obby games to tycoon games. Developers come up with new ideas and update their games every day, which keeps players coming back for more. Not only can you create and play games, you can also customize your avatar, which is how you look in-game. There are many customization options for your avatar, and the community can even create avatar items! Roblox has one of the most creative and vast avatar customization systems out there. So, if you or your children are looking for a new, fun game to play, you should try Roblox. Nine times out of ten, you’ll find everything you are looking for in this one game.

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