College Application Season

College applications. This phrase might bring chills to many but it can also bring hope to many others. It is finally that time of year when seniors all over the country and possibly around the world are applying to schools, hoping to get into the school of their dreams. After three years of arduous work and commitment to high school, many seniors are finally seeing the value and reason behind all the hard work because they can show their efforts in their applications–their ticket to college. College applications come with many challenges, stress and possibly rewards.

According to Adam Ozimek from Forbes Magazine, “The case for going to college remains strong. On average, it remains a good investment.” Additionally, David Leonhardt stated in his New York Times article, “As the economy becomes more technologically complex, the amount of education that people need will rise. At some point, 15 years or 17 years of education will make more sense as a universal goal. That point, in fact, has already arrived.” According to Georgetown Public policy institute at Georgetown University, in today’s society, you can’t get much from a high school diploma since many professional jobs require a college diploma. 35 percent of jobs will require at least a bachelor’s degree and 30 percent of jobs will require some college or an associate’s degree.

Many seniors feel that senior year, particularly the first semester,  is the most stressful. Part of the reason is because they are forced to juggle both their senior courses that come with numerous advanced placement classes and electives and their applications. The applications  come with many parts and it really depends on the colleges you choose. Many schools have supplemental essays and personal statements as well as standardized testing such as SATs, ACTs and SAT subject tests. Despite the endless challenges students face, they have several resources that they can take advantage of that would make the process a lot less painful and overwhelming. The key is time management and asking for help. The one habit seniors develop when senior year comes around is procrastinating. They wait till the last minute for everything and end up not having time for anything. Nida Wasim, a senior at Academy of American Studies, explained that she feels very overwhelmed with college applications due to the fact that she did not start early which is a great disadvantage now. Seniors cannot let “senioritis” get to them during this process because all their hard work throughout high school will possibly go to waste. Elma Rahman, a senior at Queens Vocational and Technical high school who graduated in 2015, said the most stressful part of college applications is meeting deadlines and balancing school work simultaneously and that she managed it by creating a schedule for herself.  Seniors must also take into consideration the costs of applying to college. The financial aspect can be another challenge of the process.

Even though college applications can be stressful there is a reward at the end of it. Many students who have the intention and determination of going to college are accepted into either a two-year or four-year college. Going to college will allow you to broaden your horizons and explore your options. It is a time to really find yourself and figure out your interests. During high school we aren’t given much flexibility so we are not able to do these things, but in college we can create our own schedules and choose the classes and electives that intrigue us the most. Not only can you build on academics, you can develop and grow socially. You meet so many other people from different walks of life and different places which allow us to create close relationships and connections that we keep throughout our lives. Along with that, you have the opportunity to study abroad and travel around the world. There are many opportunities in colleges that you would not get otherwise, it truly is a good investment. Be sure to fill out college applications mindfully because it can really determine your future;  the experiences you have and the people you meet.

College is the goal for high schoolers all around the country. Every senior must fill out a college application for their intended schools. This task comes with many difficulties and stress but you must know how to manage your time and balance your workload in order to be productive. It is important to consider certain tools to apply as these will make applying to college more effective and successful. There are a lot of free resources students can use that can help them with the college process such as; the college readiness program at Sunnyside Community Services;;; and most importantly assigned college advisors. If students effectively use these resources available to them, they will be able to be productive and successful in the college process. Hard work does pay off in the end and your entire high school career will be important when applying to colleges.

Written by Lamia Rahman

Photo Credits to Common Application


Simple Ways to Make College Life Easier

  • Become involved in various clubs and organizations: This is a great way to become acquainted with your surroundings and building relationships with new people.
  • Prioritize your classes: Make sure you receive your credits for mandatory college courses and then move on with the courses that you find interesting and plan on majoring in.
  • Get an on-campus job: Colleges can be very expensive and if you intend on working while enrolled in college, ask around for jobs on campus. On-campus jobs tend to be very flexible therefore, there is less stress in balancing work and school.
  • In regards to dorming, learn how to cook: Often college students are so busy with schoolwork that their health is neglected. By learning to cook, college students can eat healthier meals and it’s affordable even with a budget.
  • Don’t procrastinate: College comes with great responsibilities and you’re paying for it so don’t waste your time and money. Quit the habit of postponing everything until the last minute because rushing through your assignment will allow for more mistakes and it’ll only increase stress.

Written by Tsering Dolkar

Photo Credits to Media College Online

Watch Out Over That Acorn!

Dribble! Dribble! Swish! Basketball is known as a physical sport in New York City and there is a basketball court almost in every single park, but many people don’t know how dangerous it could be when the fall season comes. Acorns dropping, autumn leaves falling, and branches being torn apart from trees are what makes the basketball courts dangerous. This is a huge problem because these little things can lead basketball players to injury. Can anything be done about this?

It’s important to be safe when it come to New York City parks and basketball courts. The parks department does a good job keeping garbage and recyclables off the basketball courts. Acorns, autumn leaves, and branches all over the basketball courts can make a basketball player fearful of even playing basketball. Not just basketball players, but little kids that come to run around and to have fun with their friends also are prone to getting hurt.

The construction of College Point Park began in 1988 on the former site of P.S.27. P.S.27 was a school destroyed by a fire in 1977. Leaf linden trees, northern red oaks, calleryn pears, and red maples are the types of trees that surround the park, according to NYC parks. About a month ago, an injury happened where a basketball player, Lewis Zuniga, a 17-year-old local basketball player, rolled his ankle on an acorn and he feels strongly that something has to be done about this. The point of the parks department is to clean the parks to make them safer for kids to play, so injuries like that won’t happen.

“Well, first, thank you for hearing me out on this topic that I feel really should be dealt with especially since it does involve the youth and possible injuries that could harm them in the future,” said Lewis Zuniga. “I say this because it has happened to me a couple times and I was gradually able to escape without any serious damage besides a sprained ankle. It was during a five on five full court game. The defense was pressing in, crossed a man over, and as I ran towards my left, there was a branch I hadn’t seen and my foot got stuck on it and my ankle twisted as my body went in another direction. I was unable to play for a span of 2 weeks until cleared by doctors. It could’ve been worse, but I feel we should attack it now before it becomes worse for someone else. After my injury, I started to clean off the courts when it had leaves, branches, acorns, or anything that shouldn’t be on a court because I was more cautious and wanted to prevent any other injuries from occurring.” Based on what he said, this is a big issue not only in College Point park, but parks all over New York City during the fall season.

Those who play basketball in parks have different opinions about playing on acorns or branches on the court and would like something to be done about this. It just depends on the individual’s personal preferences. Brandon Murray said, “I’ll just play around whatever is in the way. I wouldn’t really be focused on injuries at all.” On the other hand, Andy Rodriguez would move it out of the way himself. He would rather be cautious than be sorry if he does ever get injured.

All of the things that land on a basketball courts can be risks to a basketball player, which is something that the New York City Parks Department should take a look at.  The usual group of basketball players at College Point Park feels that the department focuses more on cutting bushes rather than a basketball player’s environment and surrounding. I tried contacting the New York City Parks Department and I haven’t gotten a response back from them, but hopefully, we’ll hear from them soon.

Written by Tommy Ovalle

Photo Credits to NYC Parks

Dozing Off In Class?

“High school is the real danger spot in terms of sleep deprivation”

–William Dement (Founder of Stanford Sleep Disorders Clinic)

Sleep is one of the most precious things in the world. Our brain is hungry for sleep. However, sleep is something teens are lacking and seeking. Due to early schedules and late nights, sleep is becoming less a part of our daily lives and more and more students are falling asleep in class. This causes major health issues and affects our academic career. Sleepiness can make it difficult to get along with your family and friends and hurt your scores on school exams, and your attentiveness during sports games.

There are many consequences as a result of lack of sleep. It can cause serious health issues, especially for teens who are still attending school. There are many factors that keep teens from getting enough sleep. Causes for their lack of sleep include, rapidly changing bodies, busy schedules, active social lives and much more (UCLA Health). School start times play a crucial role in sleep deprivation as well. In a 2008 study in Virginia Beach, where classes began at 7:20 a.m., the crash rate for 16- to 18-year-olds was 41 percent higher than in nearby Chesapeake, Va., where school started at 8:40 am. The lead author of the study, Dr. Robert Vorona of Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, suggested that starting the school day later could result in less sleep deprivation and more alert drivers (Huffington Post). According to the Sleep Foundation, teens need about 8 to 10 hours of sleep each night to function best. Unfortunately, most teens do not meet this requirement and sleep significantly less. A study shows that only 15% of teens reported sleeping 8 ½ hours on school nights (Sleep Foundation). When several students from Academy of American Studies were asked if they had enough sleep throughout the week, the majority of them stated that they were sleep deprived, mainly due to early school schedules.

“What is sleep?” says Sarah Malonda irritably. “In order to get more sleep, I have to rush to get ready in the morning and sacrifice my time eating breakfast.”

“I definitely do not get enough sleep due to having first period every day. The maximum hours of sleep I get daily is 6 to 7 hours. School is not the only reason why we don’t get enough sleep, using our phones throughout the night and being distracted by it is also a major cause.” says Selina Li.

“I do believe I am getting enough sleep every day because I am not pulling all-nighters; however, sometimes even if I go tosleep early, I cannot wake up in the morning. It takes me a long time to actually wake up” says Sophia Ostapenko.

Proper sleep is vital for proper growth in teens. According to Stanford Medicine, sleep deprivation can lead to weight gain, anxiety, and depression as well. This can limit your ability to learn and may lead to aggressive behavior. If teens begin to change their sleeping habits now, it will prevent future serious diseases they can get when they become adults.

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So, how can we get more sleep in our lives? All it takes is a few easy steps. Initially, naps can be a good way to start. Naps can help pick you up and make you work more efficiently, if you plan them right. After school, take a quick 30-60 minute nap to refresh your mind. Another solution is to establish a bed and wake time and stick to it. A consistent sleep schedule will help you feel less tired since it allows your body to become used to its natural patterns. Furthermore, don’t eat, drink, or exercise within a few hours before your bedtime, instead go for calm and quiet activities such as reading a book (Sleep Foundation). Most importantly, don’t leave your homework for the last minute! These solutions will help you be more awake and focused.

Written by Esther Park

Photo Credits to Rhyanne N’s Sleep Deprivation in Teens Site

NYC High School Journalism Conference at Baruch College

Seniors from Ms. Cohen’s journalism class took a trip to Baruch for a journalism conference in December.  They attended various workshops that were taught by individuals who have careers in journalism.  There was also a press conference that was held by students at the event who addressed Melissa Mark-Viverito, the speaker of the City Council.  Awards were given to students from schools across the state for the work in their newspapers. It was a great event and hopefully our students can win awards next year!

Written by Rachel Manheim

Photos Taken by Selena Love Li

Girl’s Cross Country Team

This is the first official year Academy has had a Girl’s Cross-Country team. As a team, they encouraged each other to the finish line. Each team member achieved their personal best. Most of the meets were held at Van Cortlandt Park and Cunningham Park. Our freshman division placed fourth at Cunningham Park. The freshmen are definitely going to pave the way for cross- country victory!

Written by Estrella Barriga

Photos Taken by Ms. Rappoccio

The New York State Pavilion: Does it deserve restoration?

The New York State Pavilion was first presented at the World’s Fair of 1964 in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Combined with the Unisphere, the Tent of Tomorrow was once a grandiose set of towers that is currently the center of debate, which requires funding for its restoration back to its original state. The controversy has politicians and local Queens residents weighing in about whether or not to restore these two structures. The Tent of Tomorrow is a valuable part of Queens, one that once represented the past vision of the future.

Originally planned out in 1939, the Unisphere, which is a large recognizable-to-all globe, greets visitors of the Queens Museum and Flushing Meadows Park as they begin their tour of the location. However, as visitors proceed, they also see a set of three high tents that are labeled “The Tent of Tomorrow.” Designed by architect Philip Johnson, The Tent of Tomorrow is a set of three towers, two of which were once cafeterias, and the tallest tower served its purpose as an observation deck. ( During the World’s Fair of 1964, “visitors ascended to towers in the ‘Sky Streak’ capsule elevators.” ( Yet, the largest part of the pavilion “included a display from the New York State Power and Authority with a 26 foot scale replica of the St. Lawrence hydroelectric plant. The pavilion’s mezzanine featured art from local museums and information about the state’s industries along a path called ‘Highways through New York.’” (

Yet the most fascinating aspect of the New York State Pavilion was the Texaco’s Company’s map of New York State. “The map was designed with 567 Terrazzo mosaic panels, each weighing 400 pounds. Rand McNally & Company assisted in constructing the $1,000,000 map, which featured the 50,000 square miles of New York State in meticulous detail. The cities, towns, highways, roads, and Texaco stations were accurately mapped in the 9,000 square-foot  design.” ( The map covered the entire floor of the pavilion, and with the light peeking through the glass roof, which consisted of red, orange, blue, and pink glass panels, the mosaic lit up as you stood to look at it.

The New York State Pavilion has really become the most fascinating structure not just in New York, but all over the world. During the 1964 World’s Fair, countries, such as, Canada, Australia, and other European nations, all participated in the World’s Fair. However, the fair was also dedicated to the curious children of Queens and their parents. According to Harley J. Spiller, an inspector and collector of coins “as a souvenir, all of the kids were given a neutron irritated dime” that was embedded into the blue border, which represented the fair’s name and the Atomic Energy Commission. Besides, the fair was a perfect opportunity for young and old entrepreneurs to try their luck with their inventions. Indeed the fair was an ideal occasion for Mr. Walt Disney himself, to see if his “It’s a Small World” ride would become popular among youngsters and their parents. It would eventually attract visitors to the permanent location of Disney’s World Park in Florida.

The Tent of Tomorrow has not just become an art piece that was represented at the fair, but it also had its spotlight in movies, music videos, and as a concert setting. After the World’s Fair came to a close in 1965, the pavilion was used as a roller skating rink for many citizens of Queens and the rest of New York. A popular attraction for many, the rink initially lost its clientele. However after the rink was closed,  the Tent of Tomorrow was featured in movies, such as Men in Black (1990s) and Tomorrowland (2015), as well as the backdrop to music videos of the 1980s and 1990s. The New York State pavilion was also used as a setting for rock & roll concerts in the 80s however, because the city was afraid of the glass roof collapsing and hurting people due to the rough music vibrations during the concert, the glass panels were extracted from their original placement.

There is a constant debate about whether or not the New York State Pavilion should be restored back to its original shape and form. There are arguments for and against the restoration because of one main reason: money. According to WNYC News, “A study by the Parks Department found it could cost more than $72 million to fully restore the tent and towers. Demolishing the buildings, on the other hand, would cost an estimated $14 million.”  However, there are many arguments coming from the activists, who are pro-restoration. One of those activists is John Piro, “who co-founded the Pavilion Paint Project, said he hopes the pavilion will get a new lease on life. ‘When you’re in here, you can feel the energy of all the people who work here,’ he said. ‘There was so much fun, so much laughter. This building must stay.’” ( In addition, the Queens Borough President, Melinda Katz, stated “The city is willing to spent $14 million to demolish the site, why not put that money toward a restoration fund?” ( Yet, there are still so many others who would want to see the building come crashing down. Many anti-restoration activists state that it is difficult to get to the structure because of the complicated highway route, however, the 7 train stops approximately a mile away from the Queens Museum and the New York State pavilion.

The New York State Pavilion represents what was once known as the past vision of the future and was used as an attraction for many visitors around the globe. With visitors including Mitt Romney and possibly, your grandfather, the structure holds many memories of the population of prosperous Queens. Besides, it has become a structure that fascinates many, including the young and the old. Although this was once a vision of the past, it has since kept its vision of the future.

Written By Sophia Ostapenko


Photos Taken by Sophia Ostapenko