As the sun begins to shine, FHC’s smiles are not ignored behind their masks

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The snow on the ground has become a slushy, gray, slipping hazard—the smell of fresh, green grass is a distant memory. Nearing the end of February, [English] teacher Anthony Sultini sits in his classroom grading assignments just like any other day, but today is different. While the snow is starting to melt away, and the tops of grass are starting to poke through, the clouds are also parting to make way for the sun. While grading papers, Sultini looks up to see rays of sunshine illuminate his classroom; finally, spring is coming.

With the winter months creating a gray eclipse over all of the student’s and staff’s lives, there are still a lot of ways that everyone can enjoy the time that they’re given; right now, it’s important to stay positive. Sultini not only focuses on keeping his chin up, but he also wants to make sure that his children aren’t consumed by the winter’s agonizing grasp on reality.

“I have two kids: a three-year-old and a five-year-old,” Sultini said. “I’m trying my best to stay positive so that I can be a really good dad. To keep from bringing negativity home, I partake in anything that they want me to really; we try to get outside and get our minds on new things and break the monotony of doing the same-old, same-old which is where negativity can recycle itself.”

With what seems like endless trips to Ada Park, Sultini tries his best to show his children the amazing, little things in life that everyone else should be focusing on as well. Not only does he want to focus on his family, but Sultini also wants to focus on his own health to stay positive.

“I should probably be exercising like I used to do,” Sultini said, “but I need to get back to that because I think it would help me to get my mind back on things. Right now, it’s tough to get outside of the school realm; everything that I engage in has to do with school. [I want to do something] that will break the monotony of things.”

It isn’t uncommon for anyone to feel slightly consumed by daily tasks that they’re given, and with the second semester amping up the workload, school can easily become one of those tasks. Just like Sultini, junior Marella Yan tries to keep her favorite hobbies and her classes in school separated.

Along with watching YouTube and playing video games, something that keeps Marella’s mind positive is reading. There’s nothing better than opening up a good book to let loose after a long day of school.

“[Reading] makes me stop worrying about all of the things in life,” Marella said. “Reading refreshes me, and I usually read at the end of my day; when I open a book, it means that I’m done for the day and I can stop.”

Unlike traditional reading, Marella loves to read on her easily accessible phone. With it always in her pocket, her phone can keep her positive wherever she goes; her happiness and smile aren’t limited to a certain time or place. While reading is a great escape for Marella, she can understand why other students use social media to unwind; while Marella and the typical student may use their phones for different purposes, each way is perfectly valid in Marella’s mind.

“I always have my phone which means I don’t have to carry a big, clunky book around,” Marella said. “When you borrow a book from the library, you can’t highlight anything because that’s damaging the book, but when you download something like most reading apps, you can highlight, bookmark, and find certain sentences way quicker.”

Unlike Marella, freshman Eva LaBeau is most positive with other people’s impacts. Eva enjoys the sacred time that she has to herself to create art and listen to music on Vinyl, but she uses the positivity she has learned from her family to help other people as well.

[I am positive] through my hobbies like art that can help me connect more with myself which creates a better understanding of who I am for myself.”

— Eva LaBeau

One day, Eva came across an ad for an app called Blue Fever. The app instantly appealed to Eva because she saw that the app was completely anonymous and allowed her to speak to people struggling in the same situations that she might find herself in.

For Eva, the anonymous aspect of Blue Fever is really comforting, and she knows she won’t be judged for anything that she may be going through. This app has been a positive light in Eva’s life because she can find help for not just herself, but others as well.

“I always tend to focus more on other’s positivity,” Eva said. “It’s nice to be able to use Blue Fever as a place to rant about whatever for myself, but being able to help others is the bigger part of it. It’s how I’ve always been wired; I get more comfort from helping other people.” 

A lot of negativity was surrounding the social media pages that Eva was following; therefore, she decided to separate herself from the toxicity to living a better life. So far, this has been working really well for Eva. As a result, she’s had more time and energy to focus on the things in her everyday life that she enjoys like art and family.

“I would have to [credit me being a good person] to my family,” Eva said, “I was brought up with art, music, and my house always has a happy, good vibe; I realize how fortunate I am but I always try to be as good as I can for other people as well.”

Eva always tries to make everyone feel welcomed into her life with open arms and keeps a smile on her face for those around her; it’s not hard to see that she’s a positive person because she’s chosen to be.

A lot of other people can bring her down, but Eva chooses to ignore them and focus on what she knows to be true about herself. Eva keeps a steady balance on being positive for others and focusing on her own positivity for herself.

“On the surface, I use my positivity to be more connected with others,” Eva said, “because that’s always what I’ve known to do. But, more internally, [I am positive] through my hobbies like art that can help me connect more with myself which creates a better understanding of who I am.”