How To Improve Hebron

By: Jillian Applegate ’25

-Photo credit: Boarding School Review

At Hebron Academy, our students are plagued with excessive amounts of work. According to, “Excessive homework is associated with high-stress levels, physical health problems, and lack of balance in children’s lives.” This is because of how much time and energy a large amount of homework takes out of a student’s home life. On weekdays, school starts at 8:30 and ends at 5:00 (including after-school activities because they are a requirement at Hebron). That is 8 hours and 30 minutes of school each day. In comparison, the average amount of school in Maine is about 6 hours and 47 minutes. Adding homework on top of those extra hours doesn’t help the mental health of the students. According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, belonging and love are the third most important category of needs. When a student only has roughly an hour and a half to socialize on a weekday, it makes it more difficult to achieve the deep connections that humans need when most of our students, especially when they live so far away from their parents which are often where a child obtains most of their emotional support and security. With all of these in mind, I propose three different solutions. 

First, we can start shifting our curriculum to be more project-based. Even though this would include a lot of changes and planning, this method has been proven to improve the learning of students. According to,  “The students who participated in the PBL on the rock unit were much more engaged through the 19 days of instruction, than the students who were taught with a more traditional approach.” Because the students using PBL were more engaged, they likely learned more. We can decrease homework by making each project take about a week to complete as well as having students work on those projects in and out of class instead of just assigning homework. 

Second, we can decrease our school hours. This can help both the problems that I have listed AND a completely different problem, sports trips. Many students have to travel VERY far in order to play against other schools. This leads them to miss many important classes and assignments on top of the homework that they are already given. If we decrease our school days to ending at 2:00 pm or 2:30 pm, students will have more time to do their homework and the students who are participating in sports will miss fewer classes.  

Third, reducing summer reading to two books that the student/s chose at most. This is because according to, claims that adults ages 18 to 34 read about 13 books a year on average which they likely choose for themselves. If a student gets more than 3 to 4 books over the summer, that would be the average for an adult that (again) likely chose those books. According to, teenagers ages 15 to 17 read about 2 books per summer which give kids enough time to read the books they are given while also having the time to read the books they genuinely enjoy. One may wonder what is bad about having more books, they are good for kids after all. But what if the problem wasn’t just the fact that there are books needed to read, but there are also problems with boundaries. According to, “Separating your work and personal life not only increases efficiency at work, but it also reduces stress in your personal life. Both of these mean more relaxation and less burnout.” This can be applied to school life as well. Their break will be less stressful and they will be ready for the next school year. 

Lastly, you can just do all of them. This way, you can get the best of both worlds. One of the things that I learned this year was that our brains often associate certain spaces, smells, and tastes with certain emotions, memories, etc. When a boarding student at Hebron comes back from their summer vacation, the classroom is associated with schoolwork, getting students in the proper headspace for work which is a good thing. However, when we give students an excessive amount of homework, their dorm rooms become associated with schoolwork, making it harder to wind down and feel comfortable. When we extend that work to their homes, they feel less like they are allowed to take a break. This often feels invasive in a student’s downtime, why even call it “after school“ when you are constantly doing schoolwork? If we as a community give students a healthy amount of downtime at the very least, we can change this school for the better. 

Annotated Bibliography as Required by the Institution for Publication:

Lathan, Joseph “Is Homework Necessary? Education Inequity and Its Impact on Students” onlinedegrees.sandiego

This article explains the benefits of homework as well as its flaws. It states that homework can be beneficial because it teaches students important lessons like time management, but too much can cause students an unnecessary amount of stress and can take over a student’s life. I used this article in order to explain why having a small amount of homework is better for students’ home/dorm lives. 

Deitering, Sara “Is Project Based Learning a More Effective Way of Teaching Than Traditional Teaching?” Northwestern College, 2016

This article reinforces my claim that students benefit more from project-based learning. It uses evidence from an experiment to attempt to answer this very question and it showed that it kept the students’ attention span longer when given hands-on activities and/or when told to design or create something. 


Unlike the two previous articles, I used this one to merely learn the average amount of books read by teenagers. Keep in mind, the reading level and length of the books aren’t included in the statistics as well as the fact that teenagers 14 and older sometimes have jobs and/or go to summer camps during the summer which may be the reason why 15 to 18-year-olds read significantly less than students 14 and younger. 

Price, David “Why it’s Important to Keep Your Work and Home Life Separate” Charityjob, 3/20/2023 

Even though this article focuses on jobs, it can be extended to school life because of the similarities in workloads to an average office job. It explains that keeping your work and home life as separate as possible is important and people need to be able to set those boundaries. 

Alpine Ski Team Review

By: Jakub Diakonowicz ’23

Alpine skiing is an individual sport, yet Hebron’s Alpine skiing team made it feel like a team. We kicked off the season with warm weather, no snow on the ground, but so much excitement. During two weeks of sweat, complaints, and hard work, we never hit the slopes but after all of that, the break did hit. I got to be on the team for two years and I have to say all members improved since last year. One example is girls becoming the M.A.I.S.A.D. champions. This year’s team contained people from all around the world. Countries including: Poland, Germany, USA, Sweden, and Spain. 

After the break, the alpine team had their first practice in Lost Valley, furthermore the day after we also had our first race. It was slalom and the majority of the team preferred GS. Even still, we manage to jump straight in, getting three members in the top ten overall. That’s also when I realized, we were the LOUDEST winter team this year. The alpine team cheered for anyone no matter what school they were from, and cowbells were necessary. We came up with different cheers: “It’s all downhill from here”, “Dunkin is after this” or we did wordplay with last names. Every member had an addition to the team, some added fun and noise, some showed care and made sure everyone was included, and some sacrificed their time into making the gear ready.

Each one of us, before our runs, got a ‘main character moment.’ Everything was about you; the coach was focused on you, the peers were cheering you on, and all you could concentrate on was your run. You could hear coach Stokes, A.K.A. Swaggie, telling you “It’s not icy, it’s fast” or “Do your best” and that’s how you knew, it was your time to shine. We ended the season with probably our best runs at M.A.I.S.A.D.S. We showed how much we improved both individually and as a team. All the girls secured top ten finishes, as well as  four boys were in the top ten of each category. 

Truffle by Cullen Lacey (9th-10th Grade Category Runner Up)

By: Cullen Lacey ’25

Photo credits: The Merchant Baker Website

What family recipe is closest to your heart? For me, it is my grandmother’s truffle. This simple dessert is more than just a treat after dinner. The truffle holds memories that I share with my grandmother. Ever since I could remember, I’ve been helping my grandmother prepare this dessert. We usually have this dish on Thanksgiving. On Thanksgiving, my cousins and I play board games while we wait for dinner to be ready. Everyone is in a good mood, we crack jokes and laugh all day. Eventually, my grandmother will yell down to us from the kitchen saying, “Dinner’s ready!” We all run up the stairs, trying to get a spot at the table. Most of the time the seats at the table are taken up by my uncles and the older people in my family. My cousins and I just eat on the couch which works out because we get to watch football on the TV. My grandmother insists that we go for seconds, then thirds, and if you can still finish your plate, “Go make yourself another plate,” my grandmother says. Once we are grossly full of food, the moment everyone has been waiting for is here. My grandmother takes the truffle out of the fridge and brings it out to the table. Of course, my uncles get the first picks of the dessert. Most of the time, there will be enough left for me. If not, my grandmother goes, “Don’t worry hun, I got a second batch comin’ out.” My grandmother is the sweetest lady I’ve ever known. She makes sure everybody else in the room is fed before she even makes her plate and if there is any kind of food shortage, she is more than happy to make more. Every bite of the truffle is heaven. The outside has a chewy crust, but once you get to the inside you’ll get a savory, melted chocolate surprise. My grandmother is getting older now, and she isn’t as independent as she used to be since my aunt now helps her with all the cooking. But thinking back to earlier times when I used to help her prepare it, almost makes time stand still. Back when she used to make the kitchen off-limits to anyone except her favorite grandson, me.

Truffle recipe


1 box of chocolate cake mix

2 packages of instant chocolate pudding

3 8oz tubs of cool whip

1. Prepare cake batter and follow instructions on baking in 2 8-inch round pans

2. Beat pudding mix with milk and whisk for 2 minutes

3. Once the cakes are cooked slice them in half the long way to give you 4 layers (keep cake crumbs for top of the truffle)

Layers: cake, pudding, cool whip in a truffle bowl. Use cake crumbs for a decorative topping.

Refrigerate until ready to eat

Goodbye Moon

By: Jake Paderewski ‘23

Children everywhere put their naive minds at bay and get tucked in for bed time. Before drifting off to the land of their imaginations, many settle down and begin to listen to a “goodnight story.” For some it may be Doctor Seuss, others Shel Silverstein, but for the unfortunate – Margaret Wise Brown’s Goodnight Moon.

From the soft illustrations by Clement Hurd to the vivid lyrics by Brown, parents think that children seemingly fall asleep in the sweet rabbit’s infamous “great green room.” While on the surface this book is short and sweet, once inspected a little closer, the true story emerges. 

This is first seen when one scans the first image, in which a rabbit is portrayed sitting in its bed. Upon further scrutiny, one can notice the clear foreshadowing giving away the rest of the book. Seen in the back are, in order of appearance in the book, the cow jumping over the moon, and the three little bears sitting on chairs, a comb, a brush, a bowl full of mush, a light, chairs, clocks, stars, air, and most revoltingly, noises everywhere. 

On behalf of the children of the world, I would like to personally say that this is appalling. For if I were to sit down with my father as a child and read this I would be outraged. For starters, if I am reading a novel, I do NOT want to have the entire thing spoiled in five seconds. To even glance at the illustration would ruin the entire story-telling process, and not to mention the child’s night. I guarantee that after being read this, ninety-nine percent of the kids sit awake and stare at the ceiling wishing that they had parents who loved them, parents who did not dare to put them through a reading of the horrid Goodnight Moon.

After they finally get over that (after many years of counseling), they would still be upset about the discontinuities thrown about the book. As seen on page four, there are a pair of mittens and a pair of socks set up to dry, but as soon as you turn over page thirteen, the socks are nowhere to be found. And guess what? Turn to the VERY NEXT PAGE, and guess who’s back… the socks! The audacity! Also, wander over to page three and tell me what you see, because what I see is a chair with no “quiet old lady who was whispering hush,” who seems to have magically appeared by page six. 

But, what is by far the worst sin this book has committed is the fact that the color pallets change on every single page. I know that almost every kid reading this book knows their color theory, so there is no doubt in my mind that they are disgusted with this aspect of Hurd’s illustrations.

After reading this too many times (even though one is already too many), I have concluded that this “book,” if I can even call it that, is overall horrible. Not a single person in this mortal plane would enjoy this. Overall, 0/10. 

-Jake Paderewski ‘23

Is Homework Truly Necessary and Beneficial to Students?

By: Belle Beauchesne ’25 

Homework is something almost every student has to deal with on a daily basis. Most teachers say that homework is necessary for students for different reasons such as practicing key skills taught in class, practicing accountability and responsibility, or simply just another grade in the grade book. But as we get older, we seem to have more and more homework each year, which poses the question of how necessary and beneficial it really is. Why should students have to go to school and work all day just to go home and continue to work all night? This is a question that has been debated for years, and we’ve interviewed both students and teachers to get further insight into opinions on the matter of homework. 

I interviewed Mrs. Waterman, the World Literature, Honors American Literature, AP English Language and Composition, and Independent Study: Women in Literature teacher, and found that she is definitely in favor of homework and sees it as a necessity to do well in class, and prepare for college. 

When asked about her general opinion on homework she responded with the following. “I think that homework is important, especially in an English classroom because reading is an individual pursuit and you interact with the text, you embody the characters that you are reading, and you live their experiences. We do that independently and as an individual. I think that assigning reading and then having kids annotate while they’re reading, answer questions while they’re reading, write questions while they’re reading, or draw a picture to interact with the text in some way is really important so that they can then come to class and learn from each other, ask their questions, challenge each other, and have all that material prepared for a really in-depth, sophisticated class discussion, activity, writing assignment, or whatever we do in class with that. It would be so hard for the class to move forward if you weren’t doing that independent leg work on your own the night before. The other reason I really assign a lot of homework and believe in homework is because I tell kids in high school you are in class eight hours a day and you have two hours to do homework at night time, give or take. But in college, which is what we are all preparing you for, it’s really an inverse relationship where you have class for only two hours but you spend about eight hours prepping for that class. The volume of homework that you are going to receive at the institutions where you guys are all hoping to go off to and attend one day just exponentially increases so much so I think if we’re not assigning homework at this level we’re doing you a disservice for what comes down the road.”

After talking to Mrs. Waterman about her thoughts on homework, I asked her if teachers should have a timeline for grading the assignments.

“I always say to my students that I feel that homework is important, so everything you read I read, and everything you take the time to write down, put pen to paper, I will take the time to read, grade, and evaluate, so I spend a huge amount of time doing homework myself. It takes a really long time to provide thoughtful commentary on student work. I’m backpedaling here because I make the same New Year’s resolution to myself every year, I’m going to be better about getting feedback to kids on time and returning their papers to them and their grades to them, so yes I think absolutely there should be a fair amount of time to return the assignments. In my own experience, I’ve taken so long to return a paper to a student that they get it back and they are like ‘what is this,’ ‘I don’t even care about this anymore’ and so all the time that I spent giving that feedback is lost because the kids don’t even remember or care anymore. So I think that yes, timely feedback from teachers on homework is really important. Should the school set limits, I don’t know how effective that would be but I think teachers have their own internal timeline where they are saying ‘oh man I have to get this back to my kids’ and I don’t know a single teacher who hasn’t had that exact thought.”

Next, I decided to interview Mrs. Ragatz, the Honors Chemistry, and Chemistry teacher because I know that she is on the no side of homework being beneficial to students. I interviewed her over email, and here is her response when asked what her opinion is on homework and how necessary it is for students.

“There are several reasons I’m not especially fond of homework. 

  1. Students who already understand the concepts being covered frequently don’t need the homework, so it becomes busywork. Students struggling to understand the concepts in the assignment become discouraged, frustrated, or are practicing mistakes in their problem-solving. For students who need practice, it’s much better for them to have help in the classroom than to practice mistakes outside of school. 
  2. Although it’s not as much of a problem at schools like Hebron Academy, it can be inequitable. Some students don’t have stable home lives and may have to work or take care of family members after school.  In 2016-2017, over 2500 Maine school children were homeless at some point in the school year. This problem has increased with the affordable housing crisis and the pandemic. Homework magnifies the problem of socioeconomic differences that affect access to education. If you are struggling just to survive, doing your chemistry homework isn’t really a big priority, and not doing it negatively affects your grade. 
  3. Students are already over-committed with respect to time. If students take 6 classes and every teacher assigns 30 minutes of homework, that’s 3 additional hours students must spend at the end of the day, after all other time commitments have been met, focusing on school work. It’s not healthy and it’s not sustainable. 
  4. Most importantly, I’m a scientist. I try to use data to inform my choices in the classroom. With respect to homework, especially for younger students, research shows that it doesn’t do much to improve student achievement or outcomes for their education, except for a handful of studies that show a tiny bump in standardized test scores. It has been shown to have negative effects on mental health and family relationships. I can provide a list of references if it would be helpful.”

So, after seeing two sides of the argument from two different teachers’ perspectives, what do you think? Do you agree with Mrs. Waterman, that interacting with the class outside of it greatly benefits students and prepares them for college, or do you agree with Mrs. Ragatz, that students have enough on their plate and the extra load of homework could cause unnecessary stress, especially when science shows it’s not beneficial?

Is a Hotdog a Sandwich?

By: Mason Hatfield ’24

The mid-July sun is beating down so hard you can hear it. The croaking haze roars, giving way only to a gentle breeze and the sizzling of the grill. Minutes later, a still-crackling hot dog is placed on a bun and served. We have all had a hotdog at one point or another, and we have all had a sandwich at one point or another. Both hotdogs and sandwiches have been around for centuries, and hundreds of thousands of people have sunk their teeth into each numerous times. With their long and intertwining history, the question of what exactly is a hotdog has arisen. Is a hot dog a sandwich? After some extensive research and continuous in-depth thought, I have come to the conclusion that a hotdog is in fact a sandwich.

I know this conclusion may upset some people. If you look at the cold hard facts and set aside personal opinions, you will come to the same conclusion. I was once on the not-a-sandwich side and firmly believed that sandwiches and hotdogs were completely separate beings. One defining factor set this sword in stone for me; a sandwich requires two slices of bread. Then came along something that would pull that sword from the stone; subs. I’m sure you’ve been to a Subway sandwich shop. Subway sandwiches are undoubtedly sandwiches, right? Well, they have only one piece of bread, with a singular slice that gets stuffed with meat and whatever else you want. That sounds familiar. That sounds like a hotdog.

This astonishing revelation got me thinking, if we count subs and sandwiches then we have to count hot dogs, right? I needed an answer to this question so I did some research. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), a sandwich is “a meat or poultry filling between two slices of bread, a bun, or a biscuit.” With this definition, both hotdogs and subs can be considered sandwiches, finally settling the “beef” between Team Sandwich and Team Not a Sandwich. 

After unquantifiable amounts of research and thinking, I have come to the conclusion that a hotdog is undoubtedly a sandwich. The x-factor to this conversation is subs, if I never realized subs and hotdogs are eerily similar I never would’ve been enlightened to the sandwichness of hotdogs. Subs catalyzed hotdogs into the sandwich category.

Valentine’s Day: the Best or Worst Holiday?

Why Valentine’s Day is the Worst and You Cannot Change My Opinion

By Jasper Curtis ’22

If you ask someone what they thought of Valentine’s Day, you would probably get a generic and basic answer: “Valentine’s Day is about spending time with your significant other,” “this day is all about caring for others,” “I LOVE Valentine’s Day.” However, if you were to ask me what I think of Valentine’s day, I would say: I HATE VALENTINE’S DAY. 

While my verbal answer to you would be thorough, as well as funny and rehearsed, allow me to express my true feelings on this day here, for public record. Valentine’s Day is nothing but a profitable scheme for corporations to feed on for easy money. Tell me? Who really benefits from Valentine’s Day? If you said Walmart you would be CORRECT. Target, Burger King, Lowes or Pepboys would also be acceptable answers. Buying your significant other chocolates, flowers, or an oil change is not something that should be required and made special on a certain day; it should be the BARE MINIMUM. Why would you treat your other half as special on just one day?

Because Walgreens told you to? I propose a new celebration for February 14th, to replace Valentine’s Day. Instead of taking your significant other to an unoriginal dinner or buying them 50% off KFC, relax and stay indoors and watch the Sonic The Hedgehog movie, released in 2020. It has the biggest opening weekend for a film based on a video game and it has Jim Carrey in it. What more can I say to convince you to STOP CELEBRATING VALENTINE’S DAY?

Valentine’s Day is Worth Celebrating At Hebron

By Jakub Diakonowicz ’23

Valentine’s Day happens once a year on February 14th. The day honors two priests: Valentine of Rome, and Valentine of Terni. Both of them were beheaded by the same person, Claudius II. After Claudius made marriage illegal for military purposes, Valentine of Rome decided to secretly marry people, and was killed for that. Valentine of Terni was beheaded for two things: helping prisoners escape, and, while in jail, falling in love with the jailor’s daughter.

He sent her valentines and her father was not too happy about it.

 The “loving” day has a brutal history, but it is celebrated all around the world. Of course, some people don’t want to celebrate, and that’s okay, but should it bother them that others do? No! Some people are happy and some aren’t, it’s the cycle of life. Valentine’s Day is worth celebrating, and before you ignore me, hear me out first.

1. It’s happened for so long that it’s become a tradition

We have been celebrating Valentine’s Day since before literally everyone alive today was born. Therefore, it became a tradition for many people, so why would we stop?

2. An extra step to keep the love going

It’s the one day that you can expand your love to a partner beyond what you have reached so far. It’s an additional measure to keep the love going/deepening it. 

3. Even if you are alone, you can bond with people

Who said Valentine’s Day is only for couples? I mean, sure, it is treated as a day for couples, but you can spend it with friends or other people who don’t have a partner. Or even animals. People love animals. They make our lives less miserable and stressful.

4. It brings people and families together

It’s a bonding day. Families and friends will always accept gifts from you, as long as you do it from the “heart.” Remember: if you share the love with your friends, you can express it on that day too.

5. It makes people happy

Spending time together always brings joy and happiness to people. Especially on this day.

6. A good time to ask your crush out

If it feels like you need to have a date for this day, guess what? If the person you are interested in is free, you can use the occasion to ask them out. There is a high chance they will say yes. 

7. To recognize the actions of the people closest to us

If you are on the receiving end, remember to recognize the action. The person probably took a lot of time to plan and wonder what they should get. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes it’s better to buy something no matter the day, but on this day it’s BETTER to get something for your partner if you have one (BOYS LISTEN TO THAT).

8. A special day for expressing love

Let’s look back at it and think how it is a love day, and how there are a lot of ways to express love, such as buying things or hand-making them, or even organizing a day to spend with the person.

What do the teachers at Hebron do for Valentine’s Day?

Mrs. Nadeau gives her kids little chocolate for two weeks starting February 1st. I don’t know about you guys, but eating chocolate every day for two weeks as a little kid from my parents would be amazing.

Mr. Kangas cooks a special dinner, but before Covid, he would reserve their favorite restaurant in California. I know it seems crazy, but he lived there. WOW Mr. Kangas you are romantic.

Mrs. Waterman’s husband doesn’t celebrate Valentine’s Day, but to make up for that he makes every Monday feel like it. I think many would be jealous of that.

Mrs. Van Burskirk celebrates Galentine’s Day. Basically, she is doing a girl’s night. #WomenInPower

Couples at Hebron!

I Believe in a World

By Abrielle Johnson ’23

A feminist: a person who advocates for women’s rights on the basis of equality of the sexes. I believe in a world where this term does not become an insult to describe overly “emotional” women. I believe in a world where this term isn’t ridiculed and used in extremely unnecessary ways to label people, such as “Femi-Nazi.” Something I, and probably every other women’s rights activist, have been called many times before. I believe in a world where not only women will identify as feminists, but men will join in and not be afraid to call themselves one as well. Something men fail to realize is that feminism not only benefits women, but themselves as well. Instead of being called weak or emasculated for showing signs of emotion, men can live in a world where they are allowed to express their thoughts and feelings without getting hated on. But most importantly, I believe in a world where the term “feminism” doesn’t even have to be a thing anymore. 

Is it foolish to think that the world could ever reach a place of gender equality? At times it feels impossible, with endless amounts of women coming forward with sexual assault charges every day. With countless amounts of women going missing on the streets for simply walking home alone. With all the women getting cut off on their thoughts and theories during business meetings. With little girls growing up thinking their only reason for existence is to appeal to the male gaze. Is it foolish of me to have at least a sliver of hope that one day these habits of our society will be dropped?

Maybe. One thing I know for sure is that if hope is lost, there is a zero percent chance of change. Perhaps the world may not reach a total agreement of gender equality, but maybe, just maybe, enough people will enough for it to change. 

Women are strong. Women are smart. And by the unpopular belief of men, women are incredibly funny. 

I believe in a world where women can walk home alone at night without being scared for their lives. I believe in a world where women can speak without being interrupted on important subject matters. I believe in a world where little girls no longer focus their attention on their looks, but on their brains instead. I believe in a world where men can express their feelings, and are able to partake in what would be perceived as a “feminine activity” without being called “gay.” I believe in a world where the word feminism doesn’t even exist anymore. I believe in gender equality.

I Have a Dream, Too

By Kate Hashiya ’24

My dream is to be happy. I am happy when I see people smile. I see more smiles around me when I’m being the best version of myself. 

Since Adam and Eve were created, people have been fighting for happiness. Even in the darkest times, we all live hoping that someday, we will be happier. I want to chase my dream without anything stopping me. I want to go anywhere and call it home. I want to keep having hope that tomorrow will be a better day. 

This is the reason I came to Hebron Academy. 

From over 20 countries, we all make Hebron our home. 

We care for each other, and suddenly the room feels warmer. 

We give each other a hug whenever we need some. 

We ask them to come with us, whenever someone is lost. 

We hear the laughter, and it makes the whole community smile. 

We live the day, and we can say it was a wonderful day when we fall asleep at night. 

If 300 people and a few animals can share happiness and home, why can’t 8 billion people and 8 million creatures share happiness and earth?

I have a dream, too, that everyone has a place to call home.

I have a dream, too, that everyone and everything is fulfilled with love. 

I have a dream, too, that every animal, plant, and planet will share happiness. 

I have a dream, too, that nobody will be left alone in the corner of the world.

I have a dream, too, that the world will be filled with laughter. 

I have a dream, too, that every person and every animal can feel proud of their life when they walk to the stars. 

This is my dream.

I Have a Dream, Too

By Anthony Lombardo ’23

I sit here presently thinking about all those who don’t have access to the basic essentials of life. All those riches and precious puzzle pieces necessary for the function of my body are somehow not accessible to all. Upon reflecting, I believe that an education and an opportunity to thrive in society is necessary for every single human.

School is so expensive, but why? Adults are often stuck paying loans decades after graduating college, but why? Some families don’t even have the means to allow their children to discover the whole new world of opportunities that knowledge offers, or even discover their true potential, but why? A completely irrational concept in my eyes.

We have a duty, as a society, to ensure that every single human, whether as poor as a church mouse or stranded in the middle of the desert, has access to the key that could unlock their true passions. I find it ridiculous that a child must rely on their parents being wealthy enough to pay for an education. Somehow, a child must wish to be lucky enough to be born into the minority of wealthy families in order to have similar opportunities as others. 

Even those fortunate enough to be brought up into prosperous families/areas can suffer the torture of student loan debt. Why must most people be handcuffed every year when loans still need to be paid by the (supposed) fruits of their labor while some lazy and lucky losers feast on their extreme luck. 

Now, I’m not saying that those fortunate enough to live comfortably should not take advantage of it, but there should be an opportunity for everyone. Creating schools funded by the government in areas where children dream of what could have been, or what if, would not only open doors for those individuals, but also reward society. A place where everyone has a key to the lock would create a more prosperous and efficient society.

Though I can’t create a change if I stand alone, the support of others would veer this idea to be more powerful than any individual. A clear majority has suffered the price of knowledge. A clear majority has dreamed about thriving in whatever aspect of life only certain keys unlock. A clear majority acknowledges education as an essential to a human life. A clear majority should therefore stand in unison and advocate for their beliefs to create a world free of invisible barriers where free education exists and every individual can truly be free. 

At the moment, life is a game, but rigged in favor of those who have access to some cheat codes granting them an education. The light that an education brings to one’s life is truly astonishing. It unveils gold buried deep inside our brains. Now, what if everyone had the same cheat codes for this game? An even game would be in play, and cheating would no longer be relevant: everyone’s a winner. I now think to myself: what if? I hope that one day wondering what could have been will become non-existent.