AFH Photo//Gilford Murphy
Rankings of video games are useful because people need help deciding which games to buy, especially when they get a gaming system for the first time. If I could vote to decide the top new released games of the year, these are the games I would name the top games of 2017.
Grand Theft Auto V
The ability to buy cars and customize them in this game is amazing. Also, they add new cars almost every month, and make them look and sound more realistic. And don’t forget about online mode, which allows you to play alongside other people around the world. This version is better than other versions of Grand Theft Auto because the old Grand Theft Autos never looked real; the graphics were pixelated. Online mode has also been much improved this time around.
Play it on: Playstation 3 and 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and PC. 

Kingdom Hearts 1.5 + 2.5 HD Remix
This game is great because it’s like playing all of the other Kingdom Hearts game ever released all at the same time. In this game, you get to see most of the Disney and Final Fantasy characters help a boy named Sora the Keyblade Bearer defeat the evil Heartless and Nobodies and the remarkable organization XIII. This version is better than other versions of Kingdom Hearts because the Kingdom Hearts franchise is rather old, so to see it in our new technology and graphics makes the game really come to life when you look at it. This game is unique because it seems like the characters are for young kids, but honestly anyone can play this game. 
Play it on: Playstation 4

In Fortnite, players search for for chests or weapons on the floor to survive.  I think this game is great because it’s all based on skills. You must be good with each weapon, from pistols to rocket launchers. This game is unique because of its format. You start on an island, wait for 100 players to join the server, and then you are teleported to a bus flying over the battlefield. You then glide down to one of over 10 cities where you fight in hopes of being the last squad, duo, or player standing. 
Play it on: PlayStation 4, PC, Macintosh operating systems, Xbox One. 

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Americans are being led into a war that we don’t want to be a part of. Donald Trump is adding fuel to the fire of problems currently going on between this country and others around the world. If he doesn’t learn to put out his feuds with water, we’re going to end up burning as a result of his careless actions.
Donald Trump officially became president on January 20, 2017. He’s already proving to be an irresponsible and unfit leader for the United States, using Twitter to make important statements and causing a variety of problems for the country. For example, he heightened nuclear tensions in Asia by responding to Kim Jong-un’s nuclear bomb message with a Tweet stating that the button to detonate American nuclear weapons is “much bigger and more powerful.” He is also complicating relations with Russia by making accusations, like that Putin is helping North Korea avoid international sanctions. 
Back in March 2000, “The Simpsons” predicted that Donald Trump would become president. Does this mean that our fate was predestined? I won’t let my future be made out for me, and neither should you! According to John D. O’Bryant junior Giselle Rojas, today’s youth  “should be more active with today’s politics because our generation is one filled with the future leaders. We can’t let ourselves be clueless to the current events; it’s our world too.” 
 We are the generation that needs to become more involved; we hold the power to make a change in this world. Sitting back and creating memes won’t help us! Use your voice and spark new conversations, whether in-person or on social media. You could even find political groups for teens in Boston, like the Mayor’s Youth Council and Youth Lead the Change. There are many more nationwide. Do anything as long as you’re using your resources to fight. We are a force to be reckoned with, but no one will know that if you remain hidden in the shadows!

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AFH Photo//My Vu
Do you know what it’s like to feel like a vegetable? To have no motivation to do things you once loved? Do you know what it feels like to not want to get up from bed, to eat, or even to talk? Depression and anxiety manifest differently among people, but the unifying factor is that they are all mentally damaging.
The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) reported that in 2016, approximately 3.1 million adolescents ages 12 to 17 in the U.S. had at least one major depressive episode. This accounts for about 12.8 percent of the U.S. population between the ages of 12 to 17. The prevalence of any anxiety disorder among adolescents ages 13 to 18 is estimated to be 31.9 percent.  Among them, 8.3 percent had severe impairment from anxiety. 
According to the University of Washington School of Social Work, some of the major symptoms of depression include persistent sadness or “empty” mood, feelings of hopelessness, irritability, feelings of guilt, worthlessness, loss of interest in hobbies that you once enjoyed, decreased energy, difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions, difficulty sleeping or oversleeping, and lastly, thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts. Anxiety can result in some of these depressive symptoms as well, including restlessness or feeling on-edge, being easily fatigued, difficulty concentrating or having your mind go blank, muscle tension, difficulties controlling worries, and sleeping problems. 
Senior at Boston Community Leadership Academy Va'Shawn Hutcherson, who struggles with both anxiety and depression, said that “anxiety often clouds my judgment” and depression has kept him from “being happy... I try to shrug it off by hiding the pain with my exterior but deep inside I still suffer. I often feel like I have no person in the world who cares about me."
You may know someone who always seems sorrowful and lonely, and you might think they are suffering from depression. But maybe the girl who is always carrying around a smile is actually the one hurting. The truth is, people who suffer from depression vary. And not everyone projects the external symptoms in the same way. Whether they appear happy or depressed, they may both be facing the same monster.
Teens are particularly vulnerable to depression as it is associated with increases in stress, changes in one’s body’s chemistry, and major transitions in one’s life. This is pretty much the definition of being a teenager. 
The cost of anxiety and depression for teenagers is high. In addition to psychological suffering, it can be hard for them to focus on school work. “Depression and anxiety can affect one’s daily life by causing decreased motivation and energy to complete schoolwork, difficulty concentrating on assignments or lectures, feelings of guilt about not meeting expectations, and feelings of hopeless for the future,” said Michelle Privé, a clinical social worker at Boston Medical Center. That makes them more likely to receive poor grades, which is why it’s very important for school administrators, teachers and parents to be aware of students who are suffering from anxiety and depression.
It also becomes increasingly difficult for depressed and anxious teens to maintain relationships and keep open lines of communication. Privé stated that “Depression and anxiety can affect one’s daily lives socially by causing isolation from family and friends, feelings of worthless, and loss of interest in usual social activities.” 
But despite your differences and struggles, people from your community want you to know that you are not alone. While both of these mental disorders can make you feel lonely and hopeless, know that they are both treatable with medications, therapy and natural coping strategies. 
There are treatments available to help reduce the symptoms of these disorders and improve your mood. Antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications can help, as well as taking initiative with “exercising, making healthy food choices, getting enough sunlight, practicing relaxation skills, using mindfulness skills, or finding ways to express feelings through writing, drawing, or talking,” said Privé. To find out more information about how these coping strategies work, or which prescription medication are most appropriate for you, consult with your doctor or counselor. 
For those who know someone with depression or anxiety, it’s not easy to know the most fitting thing to say or do to help your friend. But simply listening to them can help them understand that you care. “Once you’re listening to a friend, you’re already supporting them in an important way,” Privé said. Sometimes the smallest actions can mean the most to someone who is feeling lost, out of place or lonely.

To my best friend Va’Shawn, and all those who suffer from anxiety and/or depression: 
Know that this is not caused by anything you did wrong, and it’s not your fault that you are faced with this. There is a community out here that cares for your mental wellbeing, and they want to encourage you with the following...
“Sometimes when you’re feeling a tad sad, anxious, depressed, or hopeless, know that this is all a part of your growth and development. And to that, I would suggest that you reach out for support in a safe manner, but reaching out for support doesn’t mean that you’re weak; rather, it makes you stronger. Most importantly, know that you are the destiny of your well being.” -Carrie Bell Peace, RN at John D. O’Bryant
“To all who suffer from anxiety or depression, I want you to know that you are not alone and you should reach out to friends, family, counselors, doctors for help! I know it’s not easy, but I believe in you! You are still human, this is still your life, take control!” -Dahlia Elamin, John D. O’Bryant student
“Do not be afraid to call for help! I want you to be alive because you matter.” -Kiara Batista, John D. O’Bryant student
“Your mind is an entire planet. Let not what happens inside of other planets (minds), impact what goes on in yours.” -Va’Shawn Hutcherson, Boston Community Leadership Academy student

If you are feeling down and experiencing any changes to mood or behavior, and need someone to talk to, call or text the the Samaritans Boston hotline at 877-870-4673, available 24/7. Or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 anytime.
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The hometown heroes of Boston. The rivals of the L.A. Lakers. The team that challenges every single NBA team. The Boston Celtics are one of the most dominant teams in the NBA. They have the best record in the Eastern Conference, and they also held a 16 game win streak in October, the longest win streak in the 2017-18 NBA season.
The Celtics roster is still extremely stacked with talent even if they have been missing one of their key members, Gordon Hayward, from the opening minutes of their first regular season game. Their point guard, Kyrie Irving, is one of the most dominant guards in the league, and Marcus Smart is one of the top shooting guards in the league. They also drafted two top three rookies, one in 2016 and another in 2017—small forward and shooting guard Jaylen Brown and power forward and small forward Jayson Tatum. Lastly, there is top 10 power ranking center Al Horford, filling Hayward’s expected role by continuing to be a veteran presence in the locker room and on the court. 
The Celtics have been an extremely dominant team all 2017 and even going into 2018, but the real question is do they have what it takes to make it to the conference finals, or maybe the finals themselves?
 Well now let’s start to break things down. We know that the trade for Kyrie Irving for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, a 2018 first round pick, and a 2020 second round pick has a better look for the Celtics than the Cleveland Cavaliers. With Irving alone they bring a major boost to their offense, causing havoc on the interior and perimeter side of the court. The big man Horford is still crashing the boards and taking the best shots that he can as a big man. 
But don’t even think we’re counting out the rookies; Tatum and Brown are both some of the most helpful rookies on the team. These two average 62.6 minutes a game together and 28.1 points a game. Don’t even think we’re missing the bench players; there are so many talented players coming off the bench, like Terry Rozier and Smart. And on their defensive side, the Celtics have four players with some of the highest defensive rating in the league: Aron Baynes, Horford, Rozier and Tatum. 
The Celtics have players who can dominate on both ends of the court. If they can keep up what they have been doing all year, they could be a conference title contender or even a NBA champion contender. They are showing great promise and still have a quarter of the season to go!

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Are you a high school student who’s failing? Or a high school teacher who can’t seem to help your students? As a junior in high school, I can relate because it’s hard to balance all the work I get from my classes. It sometimes feels like all the teachers conspire against us during their teacher meetings on who can give the most work.
My goal is to give students and teachers tips on how to succeed in high school—learning and teaching! High school is hard and many students are failing. But then again, it’s not always the students choosing to fail; some teachers are using methods students don’t understand. Students are then forced to practically teach themselves the work, and that is only if they know how. I had a teacher my sophomore year who spent the entire class just explaining the do-now and would leave in the middle of class to go to the bathroom. Now, I’m not saying all teachers are like this, but teachers should give students the help they deserve so hopefully they don’t fall behind.
A student at Boston Green Academy, Ilene Rodriguez, said teachers should “reach out to their students more.” Another student from BGA, Keyarie Mallory, added, “They should ask students how they learn best and try to incorporate them into his/her lessons. Or, they should try and make things more active and more engaging to push for more participation. Sitting down and writing all day makes us bored and tired.” 
There are some teachers who do go out of their way to support students in every way that they can. Megan Wollack, a teacher at BGA, gives students the opportunity to revise, retake or rewrite major assignments in order to improve their grades. “My philosophy is that if a student wants an A in my class, then I will give them every opportunity to earn it, but it will take a lot of work,” she said. 
It’s not just the teachers that have to put in the work; students do too. I know most teens have jobs after school and come home stressed, and that you just want to lay down, chill, sleep and watch some Netflix. It’s also really hard for some people to get up early because they go to bed late doing homework or procrastinating. I know, it was hard for me too, but it’s an easy thing to fix! 

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