A Project for Better Journalism chapter

What Makes Greenway Smile


In the modern world, it’s easy to get lost in day to day life. On top of tests, homework, studying, exams, finals, and projects, students’ schedule’s are jam packed. It can feel like there’s always something new to focus on. Not to mention, if students are employed, help around the house, or are a part of after school activities like sports or clubs. Constantly stressing about meeting expectations can leave students exhausted and unmotivated. According to an article titled, “This Is What Negative Thinking Does to Your Brain and Body,” a study was done and showed that “People who reported that they worry 50% of the time or more showed a significant disruption in their ability.”

Worrying and thinking negatively can have a larger impact on people than students might have previously thought. The same article mentions that “Negative thinking hurts your ability to process information and think clearly.” With parents’ high expectations, and pressure to do well in school, it’s no wonder why many students experience negative thoughts. In fact, according to Jennifer Hawthorne’s article titled “Change Your Thoughts, Change Your World,” As many as “80 percent of our thoughts are negative.”

During stressful times, It can be easy to dismiss the importance of genuinely appreciating parts of life that bring people joy. An article written by  Sebastian Gendry titled, “15 Fascinating Facts about Smiling” states that doing so much as “Simulating a genuine smile can boost your mood: Psychologists have found that even if you’re in a bad mood, you can instantly lift your spirits by simulating (not fake, but choose to engage in) a genuine smile.” And furthermore, an article written by Eric Savtiz titled, “The Untapped Power of Smiling” states that “smiling has documented therapeutic effects, and has been associated with: reduced stress hormone levels (like cortisol, adrenaline, and dopamine), increased health and mood enhancing hormone levels (like endorphins), and lowered blood pressure.”

Sometimes people just need a pick-me-up after a long day. When Greenway Demons were asked about what lifts their spirits, answers varied vastly. However, many students enjoyed spending time with family or friends after a hard day. “Hanging out with friends” was the most common answer given when students were asked about what makes them happy. Many students also talked about their family.

When Freshman Noely Ortiz said that when seeing her little brother, that always manages to cheers her up. Noely talked about how they love to spend time together and play fight.

Junior Jodi Madrid said, “Have you ever seen a mini size Kanye?” Madrid said that seeing pictures of these mini sized Kanyes never fails to bring a smile and laugh to her face.

Image result for midget kanye

While some students enjoy funny photos, friends, or family to lift their spirits, others find happiness in other aspects of life. Sophomore Marcus Grillo said, “I enjoy seeing little kids laugh, I think it’s really cute.” Marcus talked about how when little kids get all exited and jump around, it always brings a smile to his face.

Math teacher Mr. M talked about how spending time with his wife is a highlight of his day. He said, “When we are driving home everyday from school on 41st Ave, we look for the rabbits, birds, and dogs in the backyards.”

Focusing on things that inspire laughter, and appreciating beautiful aspects of life, even in difficult or stressful situations like tests, finals, or other life pressures can actually be really helpful. According to an article written by a thinking and self help community titled “Power of Positivity,” states, “when the brain is faced with complex tasks, negative thinking hurts your ability to process information and think clearly.”

So, if there’s ever a lack of things to smile about, the Greenway Demons thought of a few things.

“People are born out of a tiny chance, and it happened to be you,” said Freshman Matthieu Pharris-Kloft

“Tik-tok is free,” said Julia Gherasim

And lastly, “Puppies wearing sunglasses,” said Senior Amanda Myers