So what is this York Fair thing all about, anyway?

I moved here from Maryland, as did a lot of people. I wasn’t ahead of that trend but I was totally with it. I’ve lived in York for 12 years now and yet never felt even the slightest itch to go watch the spectacle at the York Fair.

I knew it existed, sure, and I knew people went to it… but those people weren’t me. Ever. I realize it’s a little like blasphemy to miss such a ubiquitous social event that many times in a row, but you’ve got to understand that I move slowly. By the time I get into the car with my ticket and my keys and everything else I’ve missed the two-week window.

But all that changed this year, as I headed up on a borrowed ticket yesterday to see the great yearly aggregation of York County culture.

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Seniors sound off on their legacies and goals for senior year

From left to right: Katie Haskell, Catie Putnam, Danielle Weichert, Emily Gruszczynski, Katie Siple, Alexa Draganosky, and Alex Johnson.

From left to right: Katie Haskell, Catie Putnam, Danielle Weichert, Emily Gruszczynski, Katie Siple, Alexa Draganosky, and Alex Johnson.

It is the beginning of the end for most seniors at York Catholic High School. Many classmates have realized that this is their last year together. For those of us who have attended private schools their entire life, many classmates have been in the same class together since preschool and have been best friends for just as long. It is a sentimental time to say the least. Although our futures may be leading us in different directions, there is one idea we all agree on: we want to make a lasting impact at York Catholic. A legacy that will be remembered long after we have graduated. Goals that will help change our school and ourselves for the better. Here are a few quotes from fellow classmates on how they wish to be remembered and goals that they aspire to complete their senior year:

“We want to continue our dynasty of YC girl’s basketball with the integrity and perseverance of the girls who came before us while staying on top of our school work.” – Anne Lehr and Megan Salter

“To be remembered as a leader that made a positive change within school and inspired others to do the same.” -Thomas Thole

“Make it out of here with minimal casualties and my friends by my side.” -Katie Haskell Continue reading “Seniors sound off on their legacies and goals for senior year” »

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Homecoming Dress Trends for 2014

Homecoming 2014 is rapidly approaching and finding the perfect dress is critical to make the night perfect. Pick a dress that makes you stand out from the crowd. Here are some hot trends for homecoming 2014: Continue reading “Homecoming Dress Trends for 2014” »

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17 things I’ve learned in 17 years

Two years ago, for my 15 birthday, I wrote a blog post about 15 things I had learned in 15 years. Today, on my 17 birthday, I found myself revisiting that old list and particularly enjoying some of the things I had deemed ‘mature thoughts’ at the time (especially the part in which I compared waiting for food to arrive as harder than trying to win the Hunger Games). Seeing as how I have, hopefully, grown as a person since I eagerly typed that up in a manner that only an innocent high school freshmen could achieve, I thought it was due time I updated the list with 17 new things I have learned in 17 years.

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Conquering the court: An introduction to high school sports

This is the time of the year when stairs are some students’ worst enemy and all of their time is spent willingly exercising. This is the beginning of the wonderful months when everyone is extremely tired and sore, but they have never felt so alive– the start of high school sport season.

According to the 2012-2013 High School Athletics Participation Survey , around 7.7 million high school students participated in high school sports last year.

Most high schools revolve around sports. High school football games are pretty much mandatory events. The realm of high school sports is very intimidating, especially to first-time high school athletes.

Katie Jacques, a freshman at Red Lion Area Senior High School, recently started her first year on the high school tennis team.

Jacques has played many sports before, including soccer, volleyball, and field hockey, but she finally settled on tennis as her sport for this school year.

“I chose tennis because one of my old teachers was a coach and she would practice with me in the school gym. She convinced me to try out for the team. I also played tennis at camps over the summers.” said Jacques.

Destiny Mann, a freshman at Red Lion Area Senior High School, is also starting her first year of tennis. Unlike Jacques, this is Mann’s first experience playing an organized sport.

“I am both excited and nervous.” said Mann.  “I play because it is fun, but I have never done anything like this before.”

Playing recreationally is different from playing on the high school level.

“High school sports are more intense. There is more pressure to win and represent the school.” said Jacques.

However, the elevated stakes come with higher rewards.

“I love my coach and my other teammates. Playing tennis is pushing me to be more involved in my school and to get on top of my schoolwork.” said Jacques.

Tennis has also helped Jacques meet new people. Friends can be an important resource, especially to freshman who are trying to find their way through the maze that is high school.

“Getting to know the upperclassmen has really helped me with my first year of high school. I know seniors and juniors from the team who are always willing to help me.” said Jacques.

Jacques and Mann have gotten to know each other well on the small tennis team. They have bonded and are trying to navigate through their first year of tennis together.

But Jacques knows that she still has work to do.

“I definitely need to improve,” said Jacques, “I need to work on control and other things, but I know I will get there in time.”



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Tailgating: Why’s it so great?

Looking ahead at the upcoming NFL season has many excited and presents the opportunity to tailgate on each and every Sunday before your favorite team kicks off. Once Sunday rolls around it’s time to break out the coolers, grills and team jerseys. If you have attended a football game whether it’s at the high school, college or professional level, you know that tailgating is a large part of pre-game.
Although nobody really knows where tailgating originated from, it has evolved over the years. The past few years, tailgating has consisted of going to the game, setting up your grills, filling coolers with cold drinks and wearing your favorite team apparel. Some activities you can do before the game are a game of catch and bean bag toss.

To some, tailgating is the most fun part of going to the game. This may be because you can hang out, drink your favorite soda and eat your favorite junk foods. Not only before the game can you eat, drink and hang out but at the same time you can support your favorite team.

Food is the aspect of tailgating people usually enjoy the most. Some of the most common foods consumed while tailgating include barbecue, buffalo wings, Cincinnati chili, New England clam chowder and Philly cheesesteaks. These delicious meals originate from cities and regions and are not limited to just those areas.

Even though you may not fit into all of these statistics they are certainly eye-opening. The most common age of tailgaters is ages 25-44. Two out of every five fans spends greater than $500 over the course of the season tailgating. Some fans go so far as to customize their cars and other vehicles to their team colors with logos, flags, and stickers.

Some argue whether they prefer tailgating at an NFL game of at a college football game. It all depends on age because NFL fans are generally older than college fans because their usually more restricted in what they can participate in.

Not only does tailgating vary from level to level but it varies from sport to sport. A popular sport for tailgating other than football is NASCAR. According to, the most common age for NASCAR is 25-54 years old. This is greater than 60 percent of all NASCAR tailgaters. The top five tailgating spots for NASCAR across the country include Pocono Raceway, Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Motor Speedway.

Some negative aspects of tailgating are that it can get out of hand due to the fans anxious or fans having too much to drink. This can lead to vandalism and other types of damage. Usually stadium officials and workers can control the environment and keep it safe for all members.

Tailgating is one of the best ways to spend your time before you watch your favorite team battle against their opponent. You get to eat, drink and play games with fellow fans. Tailgating creates an atmosphere like no other and will continue to evolve as the needs of fans does as well.

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Rachael Blaine

Hello everyone! My name is Rachael Blaine, and I’m a sophomore at Northeastern High School. I’m so excited to be able to write for the Teen Takeover program!

Being able to work with the awesome people at YDR is such an honor to me. Most of my life consists of writing – along with the occasional band practice – so I’m thrilled to be able to share some of it with other writers/those who read this blog. I would love nothing more than to be able to sit at home all day and write, but between school, band, and having the attention span of a fish, that’s not always possible. Despite that, I’ve managed to write a few stories myself, as my dream would to one day become a published author.

I have a slight addiction to music; you’ll almost never see me without my iPod. I’m in my school’s special chorus group. Outside of school, my other hobbies are collecting pens, crocheting/knitting, and aimlessly wasting any free time I have on the internet.

Well, that’s a short summary of myself; I’m much better at writing about things other than myself. I can’t wait to get some of my other writings out there!

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George Mason University

This summer, amidst doing homework for my AP classes and playing tennis, I had the pleasure of going on a few college visits. One such visit was to the home of the Patriots, George Mason University.

Located in suburban Fairfax, Virginia, about 21 miles outside of Washington D.C., George Mason University is a large, public university that houses roughly 22,000 undergraduate students on-campus. However, despite the large number of undergraduate students, the student-to-faculty ratio at GMU is 15:1 and the average class size, excluding some the required general education courses, ranges from 25 to 30 students. Continue reading “George Mason University” »

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What senioritis does to prepare you for the future

Senior year is that most mystical time of a young person’s life where they walk into a school on day one and realize that they’re less willing to do work than they were on the last day of last year.

But it’s not just some attitude the poor kid discovered. It’s something that comes with the sober realization that school is legitimately just 12 years of your life, a 12-year segment that’s reaching an end.

12 years is a long time when you stick it right at the beginning of everybody’s life, and so it’s understandable that, mired in the middle of tenth grade, school sounds like a synonym for life.

But by senior year a cataclysmic change in the status quo is upon you. You’ll either adapt or die. How do you prepare? Senioritis.

What’s senioritis do for people other than breed complacency, you ask? Well –

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Summer jobs at summer camp

A typical teenage summer can be comprised of lazy days relaxing pool side, hanging out with friends and de-stressing from the hectic grind of the school year. But those days spent soaking up the sun can be quickly darkened by the empty pit of a wallet. And when parents stop funding those spur-of-the-moment shopping trips or annual Friday night movie theater visits, the only choice left is to start applying for the oh-so-dreaded summer job which will inevitably conflict with family vacations or plans with friends.

With this new added stress and the reconstruction of an already complicated social life, it’s easy to think back to previous summers that had been spent in a much simpler way, maybe due to a beloved summer camp. Back then, there was no need for a job or money, summer was solely reserved for nature, friends and adventure. Growing up has a way of making those yearly trips become distant memories. But they don’t have to be.

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