The Student Newspaper of Highline College


Breaking free: A journey through agoraphobia - A five part story (Part Two)

Part Two: Unshackling the Mind

In part one of the true story of one student’s brave battle through agoraphobia, we discovered how the author’s subtle sense of unease gradually morphed into a monstrous presence, imprisoning them within the four walls of their own room. Despite the well-intentioned advice and encouragement from friends and family, agoraphobia had become their constant companion and relentless tormentor. 

The pros and cons of Running Start

The Running Start program offered at Highline can be a great opportunity for many students to get ahead in their education. But stepping into the college world as a high schooler is not without its downsides as these motivated junior scholars often have to face increased levels of stress and rigor.

Here at Highline there are Running Start students everywhere you look. Around every corner, you can find high schoolers participating in the program and often aiming to get their AA. “Running Start is dual credit program in Washington State that allows high school juniors and seniors to take college courses. Students earn both high school and college credit for courses completed,” states the Highline Running Start webpage.

Breaking free: A journey through agoraphobia  – A five part story (Part One)

Part One: Trapped, Isolated, Lost

In honor of Highline’s Week of Wellness, one exceptionally brave, resilient, and tenaciously spirited student, who prefers to remain anonymous, has decided to share their profoundly brave personal journey with remarkable candor.

As they continue confronting the isolating grip of agoraphobia with unwavering courage, their story serves as a powerful reminder that even in the darkest moments of mental anguish, the human spirit can summon incredible reserves of resilience and bravery.

The power of networking: building professional relationships in college

One of the most powerful tools for building a successful career is networking. This comes to the chagrin of many college students, as the concept may come across as intimidating, mainly reserved for established professionals. The truth is that networking is more accessible than most may think.

In reality, college is the perfect time to start building those invaluable professional relationships by forming those connections with peers and leaders in your field and areas of interest.

These connections can open doors to opportunities, provide guidance and mentorship, and offer support during your academic and professional journey. While the benefits of networking are clear, how does one go about cultivating these relationships, especially during the college years?

Highline women in action: International Women's HERstory Month

As Highline College celebrates March as International Women’s HERstory Month, we find ourselves reflecting on the contributions of the remarkable female-identified employees who have dedicated decades of their lives to shaping our institution.

Their commitment, tireless efforts and leadership have left a mark on students, staff, and throughout the campus. We extend our deepest gratitude and love for these ladies!

Please join us in celebrating our Highline Women in Action.

The art of journaling: unleashing creativity and writing away the stress

Journaling stands as one of the best and most actionable mental health activities. The prospect is simple – get a pen and paper, then write anything that comes to mind. Though instead of events, wellness journaling focuses more on writing thoughts and emotions.

The practice is heavily favored amongst mental health practitioners and members of Highline’s counseling center. Studies on the subject see the benefits of journaling as “…both a more coherent and illuminating approach to investigate mindfulness.”

Poetry and self-reliance: a conversation with Susan Rich

Highline College has been a bastion for passionate educators and leaders since 1961, and for the last 25 years, it has been fortunate enough to be home to Susan Rich. The Thunderword spoke with Rich this past week and discussed her tenure at Highline, her favorite moments at the Arcturus publication, and some highlights from her upcoming book, “Blue Atlas”.

Taking in the views on campus as her last quarter as Faculty Editor for “Arcturus” and creative writing teacher, Rich is now looking onward to her oncoming book tour with as much creative zeal as she did at the start of her career.

Q & A: Meet the new president of Highline’s Queer & Allies club

The Queer & Allies club is not new to Highline, but its name and president are.

Last quarter, it was known as the GSA, or the Genders and Sexualities Alliance, but it’s since changed in both name and leadership. Now known as Q & A, or Queer & Allies, the new club president is Highline student Duncan Dao.

Inside the tenure review process

Have you ever wondered how your favorite instructor gets tenured by the college? The Tenure Review Committee (TRC) is responsible for reviewing any faculty member up for tenure. This means they are granted many benefits including stronger job security until retirement.

The committee currently has eight members including two college administration officials, five faculty members from their respective divisions, and the Vice President of the Associated Students of Highline College. It is led this year by co-chairs Tracy Brigham and Razmehr Fardad from the Health Department and Pure and Applied Sciences Divisions, respectively.

The impact of social media on college students

In the age of connectivity, the influence of social media permeates every aspect of our lives, and for college-aged students, this impact is particularly profound. From shaping social interactions to influencing academic experiences, the role of social media is undeniable.

It is worth looking into the multi-faceted impact of social media on college students and exploring the nuances that it brings along with it. Social media platforms serve as virtual town squares, connecting college students in ways unimaginable a few decades ago. 

Fireside Bistro & Ground to Tree Coffee - Exploring the grounds of each side

On both ends of Highline’s campus stands an option for student coffee. The Fireside Bistro, which has been open since fall 2021, in Building 8; and Ground to Tree Coffee, which just recently opened in fall 2023, in Building 29.

Now that the newest addition, Ground to Tree Coffee, has been operating for five months a check-in to see how each is serving students’ needs is in order. With both coffee shops now operating simultaneously, how well does each fare for students?

Balance and maintaining mental health while in college

College life is often hailed as a transformative journey filled with new experiences, academic challenges, and personal growth. However, it’s essential to recognize that this period can also be mentally demanding.

Academia brings with it a whirlwind of expectations, deadlines, and social dynamics. The pressure to excel academically, participate in extracurricular activities, and build a social network can be overwhelming. Recognizing the challenges and acknowledging the importance of mental health is the first step toward a more balanced life.

Highline’s Year of the Dragon Festival kicks off the Lunar New Year with celebration

Around 140 of Highline’s students and staff gathered to celebrate this year’s Lunar New Year in the Building 8 Mt. Constance room this past Thursday. The festivities, meant to educate about the rich history of this holiday and to celebrate with the community, was hosted by Highline’s Global Student Ambassadors and the Inter-Cultural Center.

“The goal of this event was to assist students in comprehending the history of Lunar New Year and the many ways that people throughout the globe celebrate it,” said Linh Nguyen, one of the hosts of the event. “Through this we also desired to have students who must leave their homes in order to attend school during this time feel more connected and at ease in the event.”

Day in the life of student government

When it comes to student leadership, the Associated Students of Highline College (ASHC) has represented the multiracial, multicultural, and multigenerational student body for many years. They do so through connecting students with various leadership opportunities and advocating for solutions to the biggest issues that students face, like textbook affordability.

President DeVoni Young, Vice President Clara Swart, and Speaker of the Caucus Kimberly Wangari are charged with the task of ensuring all students have a say in the decisions that will impact their future.

Veterans Office grand opening at Highline College

Last time the Thunderword checked in with Highline College’s own Veterans Services Office, Kendall Evans, who is at the helm, was eagerly awaiting a new and improved room for student veterans to congregate at their leisure. Well, that day has come!

Evans and his student veteran staff want to spread the word that Building 23, room 111, boasts free coffee, snacks, a TV, and computers for those wanting to get ahead in class while they take a load off.

Teaching English language learners: Navigating ESL vs. ESOL

With increasing numbers of English language learners (ELLs) in schools, teachers require proper training to effectively educate this diverse population. There are several common certification types for instructing ELLs, including English as a second language (ESL) and English for speakers of other languages (ESOL).

ESL focuses on teaching English to nonnative speakers living in an English-speaking country, as ESL teacher Tom Brock explains, “Teaching ESL allows me to help others adapt to living in an English-speaking country while sharing knowledge about my own culture too. It’s incredibly rewarding.” 

Navigating the job market: Career options for graduating students 

As graduation approaches, Highline students find themselves at the threshold of a new chapter that requires job marketing. Navigating this transition between school and the career world requires careful consideration and strategic planning.

By reflecting on your skills, interests, and passions you can pinpoint potential career paths. Additionally, you can research industries with high demand for professionals in your field, attend career fairs, networking events, and workshops to gain industry insights.

Black History Month celebrated at Highline

February is a time where Black history is honored and represented all over the United States. People from all walks of life continue to honor the titans that fought for equality during Black History Month. 

As part of Highline’s celebration and recognition of Black History Month, this past Thursday the college hosted renowned speaker and academic Dr. A.K. Sterling. Dr. Sterling visited the Umoja Village in Building 25 and gave a presentation about his story and how it connects with the overall theme of how we can continue to shape history. 

Highline to host Year of the Dragon Festival

The Lunar New Year is approaching, and that means the Year of the Dragon event is coming soon to the Highline campus! 

The Inter-Cultural Center (ICC) and Global Student Ambassadors (GSA) have been working together to give the Highline community a true celebration on Feb. 15 with a stockpile of games and food for any students who want to come by and join the festivities.

Inter-Cultural Center peer facilitator Chansophalysa Than sat down with the Thunderword to explain what the Lunar New Year means to her, as well as providing everyone a sneak preview of the good things to come.

The Q Boutique fashion shows the importance of self-expression through clothing

The Q Center and the Q Boutique have come together to put on their second seasonal fashion show for the Highline community. The Q team hosted the inaugural seasonal event this past fall. These fashion shows spend the evening showcasing the clothing in the Q Boutique.

The Q Boutique, which is located behind the stage of Building 4, room 122, is a donation based program that allows LGBTQIA+ students a way to obtain gender affirming clothing at no expense. “It’s really about standing up for LGBTQIA+ inclusion and belonging and thriving a Highline,” said Amy Rider, an Academic Success faculty member who opened the show alongside Chino Gonzales.

The high value of marketing and how it affects the Highline community

In the dynamic landscape of education and business alike, the importance of effective marketing cannot be overstated. By exploring the high value of marketing and the effects it has on people’s decisions, it is clear there is a profound impact on Highline College students and the broader community. 

From fostering student engagement to shaping community dynamics, marketing plays an important role in connecting, informing, and empowering all students at Highline. In today’s society marketing serves as the bridge that connects students to the diverse opportunities available at Highline and within our community.

Note-taking traditionally or digitally: Which one triumphs?

Note-taking on paper is a tradition that has stuck with us since the medium’s invention. Despite the tech world’s attempts to overthrow it, paper notes are still the default for many students and professors alike. However, these attempts to reinvent the way we take notes aren’t in vain as digital platforms become more efficient, more powerful, and easier to use.

Over the past decade, every service required by students – from textbooks and assignments to meetings – has moved to fully digital mediums. Paper notes are still standing despite this, but is it only a matter of time until everyone’s typing them out?

Effective time management in college

For busy college students, there may be no greater skill necessary than time management. The ability to juggle all of the stressors associated with school, often work, and personal lives can be a challenge, even for the most seasoned students.

A lot of college students are able to manage their time in college because they have balance and they are able to work ahead. For some students it’s not easy to have time management skills, especially when they are loaded with school and work, which could result in late class assignments due to this mismanagement.

Students in crisis: Rethinking an antiquated education model

Teens’ mental health in free fall signals need to reimagine outdated systems where alarming statistics point to a need for change.

According to Gallup, an alarming 1-in-10 students now feel actively discouraged at school. Recent Pew surveys reveal over 70% of teenagers see anxiety and depression as major issues amongst peers – contributing to deteriorating academic outcomes including high absenteeism and lower test scores.

“I hate going to school. I just feel so sad and helpless,” says 17-year-old Rosa R. after a recent panic attack forced her to leave class. Like a growing population of stressed-out students, she feels the education system itself fuels her anxiety instead of helping her thrive.

Highline Highlights - Sergio Martin Acuña Carrillo (he/him)

Welcome to Highline Highlights, where we at the Thunderword get to sit down with one of countless students who make up our incredible campus community! This time, we sat down with Sergio Martin Acuña Carrillo, and asked him five questions to really get to know him!