Balancing act

Feeling overly busy? Stress the positive


The start of a new school year hits students like a ton of bricks The summer vacation high hasn’t quite worn off yet, and here you are sitting in a dingy classroom listening to your math teacher talk about things that haven’t crossed your mind since last May. This isn’t fair! you think to yourself. You should be enjoying some rest and relaxation, not trying to find the radius of a circle. And all those responsibilities? Ew. Now your average day entails rising at the crack of dawn, learning for eight hours, sports practices, club meetings, and – to top it all off –  going home to 3 more hours of homework. Your weekends seem to be the only time you can relax, and those precious two days are often taken up by work or even extra meetings or practices. What the heck? How are you supposed to find time to binge-watch Netflix for seven straight hours? Do teachers really expect you to spend the little free time you have doing homework? How are you supposed to survive the school year with your sanity still intact?!

All jokes aside, starting school can bring many stresses into a student’s life – especially an involved student. Clubs, academics, sports, activities, and jobs are all important components of a high school student’s life, and it can be hard to balance them all. You want to look good for colleges? You’ll need to be involved in several activities AND maintain good grades. You want a sports scholarship? You’ll need to train year-round and focus on doing your absolute best during the season. You want to save money for college? You’ll need a job and a lot of available hours. You want all of these? Ha! Good luck with that.

“It’s hard to find time to get everything done and find free time too,”  junior Sydney Lepkowski said. Lepkowski is a third-year band member, is in her first year at the Health Systems Academy, is on Varsity cheer, in Circle of Friends and HOSA, is a junior class officer, and is applying to be in NHS.

Senior Brad Pelham, an ROTC Commanding Officer, president of the Midlands HOSA chapter, a second-year Health Academy student, and an NHS member, says the hardest part is the stress of conflicting events. “You never know what each activity is going to throw at you,” he said.

So the question is, why do we do it? Why do we put ourselves through all the stress? “I do it because I like to be involved,” Lepkowski said. “I enjoy being in a variety of different activities.”

For Pelham, it’s a better experience. “I want to take advantage of everything the school has to offer,” he said.

In the long run, you’ll probably look back on your high school career and be glad you were involved in so many things. But when you get home after a long day and the thought of lying in bed and watching Netflix sounds amazing, it can be difficult to buckle down and do your math homework. What does it matter if I watch one or nine episodes of “Grey’s Anatomy”? A little Netflix never hurt anyone, right? WRONG. Sadly, Derek Shepherd cannot help you get into the college of your dreams. Only you can do that.

“You have to know how to prioritize,” senior Chase Caverzagie said. Caverzagie is a DECA State Officer, NHS member, is in the Associate-to-Bachelor’s academy, and is on Varsity football and the Black Hole committee. “You have to choose which activity is more important at the time and schedule everything out.”

The 2014-2015 school year is in full swing, my fellow students, and unfortunately, there is nothing we can do to stop it. If you find yourself laden with the numerous burdens of clubs, sports, homework, and work, remind yourself of why you do what you do, then put on your big-kid pants and just get it done. Your future self will thank you.

Countdown to Homecoming!


Do you really think you have everything you need to prepare for the big night? Join the countdown to the 2014 Homecoming Carnival Dance, and use these handy tips to make sure you’re totally prepared to have a great time.

Sept. 30: Brainstorm

Find clever ways to snag a date!

With only 11 days to go until the big day, it’s time to start narrowing down your plans for the 11th! Whether you decide to go with a date or a group of friends, it’s important to figure out ahead of time who you plan on going with, because no one wants to spend Homecoming alone and with no company! For all the people planning on asking a date, follow Senior Class President Noah Thornton’s seven-step process for snagging a date!


Oct. 1: Shop 

Discover that dream dress 

Whether you are going dateless or as a pair, now is the time to purchase your dress! This 10-day reminder to Homecoming gives you a nudge to either place a last-minute order online or go shopping on your last available weekend! Once you find your adorable and affordable dress, you have just enough time to find matching shoes, jewelry, flowers, and accessories!

Oct. 2: Just ask

Set plans in stone

Now is the time to ask your date and make plans official! If you’re still struggling with finding a creative way to ask, Pinterest is always hopping with ideas! But remember there is nothing wrong with attending Homecoming dateless, because going with pals can be more exciting. Junior Gabby Catterson advises the dateless to “find a good group of friends … because it’s no fun going all by yourself.”

Oct. 3: Suit up!

Get style and avoid a clash

Nothing is sadder than a couple at Homecoming with clashing colors and patterns. Your job as a date is to match your girl in all the right places — including shoes, pants, dress shirt, tie, suspenders, etc. Going shopping with your date is best to make sure you have the correct collaboration of colors. Your date will have an idea in mind of what colors and patterns will go best with her dress, but don’t forget to stay true to your own personal style! Thornton’s fashion advice for Homecoming is to “wear a really sharp tie, and save the bow ties for prom.”

Oct. 4: Bloom

Take care of the corsage

With only a week to go, now is the time to stop by and order your date’s corsage at a local flower shop or HyVee. Papillion Flower Shop sells corsages for $35-$40. HyVee in Shadow Lake sells them for $22.50 to $24.50. Most flower shops offer a fun variety of colors, flowers and designs to match your date’s Homecoming attire as well as yours.



Oct. 5: Pin it

Buy the best boutonniere

Papillion Flower Shop sells boutonnieres for $13, and HyVee in Shadow Lake sells them for $10 to $12. Just like the corsages, both offer various selections of personally designed styles. One may choose to surprise a date by ordering the flower without knowledge of the design, or you may go in together to order both the corsage and and the boutonniere so you can avoid the dreaded fashion clash.

Oct. 6: Tickets!

Titan Town. Today.

Titan Town will be selling Homecoming tickets every day until Thursday, Oct. 9, for $10*.  In order to purchase tickets, you must present a student ID and a paper proving you have no fines. Make sure to not lose your ticket before the big day, because without it, you will be unable to enter the dance.

Spirit Week begins! Monday’s theme: USA

Oct. 7: Kicks!

Shoes, accessories and all the essentials

As the day approaches, double check to make sure everything is within your grasp! This includes jewelry, accessories, suspenders and shoes. Now that you don’t have to worry about finding a dress or a nice shirt and tie, it’s time to focus on the nitpicky things! Junior Madison Cascio has learned from experience which stores are go-to shoe-shopping locations. “Honestly, I got really cute affordable shoes last year at Famous Footwear for prom. Younkers works, too.”  Shadow Lake, Westroads, and Oak View Mall offer many shoe and accessory options. REMINDER: Those with dates who do not attend PLS have to turn in Guest Registration forms by 8 a.m. Wednesday at Titan Town.

Tuesday’s theme: Future Career Day



Oct. 8: Nails!

Mani-pedi is a must

With Homecoming right around the corner, now would be a good time to start thinking about what’s to be done about nails. There are many different options to choose from—normal nail polish, gel polish, acrylic nails. Be sure to schedule an appointment soon, because most places become unavailable and overscheduled as Homecoming approaches. For those with no intention of going to a salon, there’s nothing wrong with getting a matching color at Sally’s and doing it on your own!

Wednesday’s theme: Class Color Day – Seniors in black, juniors in pink, sophomores in purple, freshmen in yellow

Oct. 9: Be tru

Get pumped for the game!

As a peppy and supportive Titan, hopefully you’ve  been participating in spirit week. Student Council Vice President Cody Redford finds Titan Spirit to be crucially important. “Spirit week is the most important thing,” Redford says. “Everyone should participate because it’s building community for the school, and we are all trying to get excited for homecoming and the football game. It’s a lot more fun when more people participate and make the effort..” Take part in spirit week and attend the 7 p.m. game against Omaha Northwest! Make sure to support your school and show up to the game as the best Titan representative you can be!

Thursday’s theme: Titan Spirit Day

Oct. 10: Treat yourself

Take a day off!

After the craziness of counting down to Homecoming, now is the time to take a breather. Relax with friends so you can save your energy. Purchase face masks at Ulta or Sally’s and have a pre-Homecoming spa party. Enjoy a quiet night with comfort food and Netflix. Just be sure to get your “beauty rest,” especially if you’ll be taking the SAT in the morning before the big dance. 

Friday’s theme: Disney* Day




Oct. 11: Make memories

This is the night!

Now that the day is finally here, the most important thing to do is make sure you’re having a good time. Get ready, look sharp, take pictures with friends, grab a yummy bite to eat, and head over to the Papillion-La Vista South gym, where you can have a great time enjoying good music and fun with your fellow students. Remember that in order to enter the dance you need your ticket and student ID. Don’t forget to make Homecoming 2014 the best one yet!

*most up-to-date information; differs from print version