NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.


Opening my eyes: A student's experience in quarantine

Being required to stay under quarantine has opened my eyes as to everything I took for granted outside of my house. Typically, I strain myself by playing PC games late at night, with friends, until the early morning and then sleep through the day. The concept of day and night is fleeting, as even my younger sister and stepbrother have been staying up until 2 or 3 in the morning. The grim feeling of obedience to stay inside has me craving the outdoors. Any kind of change involving usually despised exercise, would bring hope to the idea that quarantine is soon over and that I can see my friends again in real-life. Until then, I need to fight eye strain, find something to occupy myself, and motivate myself to continue with my education. The most difficult part of this quarantine hasn’t been the strain to stay inside, but the strain to stop neglecting my schoolwork. If I have in-person classes, at least I have a sort of constant reminder every time I go to campus. This wouldn’t be an issue if my PC served as only a work PC, as every time that I log on, I get bombarded with…

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Tips for coping with anxiety

These troubling times have taken a toll on our mental health. Being forced to be home hasn’t been easy for anybody, but it is exceptionally hard for those with disorders. It feels like things aren’t ever going to clear up but trust me, somewhere down the line there will be better days.   As a person with a disorder I understand how easy it is to get stuck on things we can’t control, but if we take it one day at a time, we can overcome it. These thoughts come and go but the only way through is through.   These are the ways that I work through anxiety:     1. Breathing exercises:  If you feel yourself dissociating from reality close your eyes and breathe slowly.  As you’re breathing in, touch your fingertips and count to three. Repeat this exercise until you feel better.    2. Go on a nature walk or a drive:  Social distancing does not mean you can’t go outside and enjoy the fresh air. Sometimes all your mind and body needs is some air and vitamin D. Go put on your headphones and enjoy the little joys that we have in life. However, remember to observe the six feet and…

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Time for creativity

This is an interesting time for creatives, and I would know because I am a photographer, writer, and a graphic designer. As a student and a big sister to 3 girls, times have been tough, and my family and I have had to adjust. Everyday for the past 4 weeks, I’ve had to commit to being a homeschool art and spelling teacher, and a student with all my courses online. But somehow I’ve had more…

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News Bytes

Practicing media literacy: An especially important skill during a pandemic

With the increased usage of technology and the internet alike, it is important media consumers are practicing media literacy in their daily lives. Media literacy is a crucial skill, as it is the ability to recognize and identify different kinds of media and understand the messages being sent and why.…

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Face masks mandated in Massachusetts

On May 6, the use of mandatory masks took effect throughout the state of Massachusetts. The order, executed by Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Barker, requires residents to wear a face covering in public places when they cannot socially distance themselves. The request applies to all employees, customers and public transport companies…

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Parenting through a pandemic: NECC offers support group to caregivers

  As any community college, Northern Essex has its fair share of students with diverse needs and various non-school commitments. Now, thanks to a new student interest group, busy moms and caregivers will have a place to unwind on campus every Thursday, (when the campus was open from 12:30-1:30 p.m.…

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Lessons learned from quarantine

The coronavirus has had its grip on the entire world for the better part of 2020. As human beings it is in our nature to learn, grow, and thrive in the face of adversity. While we continue to fight through this pandemic, many people are noticing things about themselves that…

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Featured Articles

Speechapalooza goes online, collects donations for student relief fund

Northern Essex Community College students hosted an online public speaking event, called Speechapalooza, on Instagram, Facebook and Youtube from Wednesday-Friday, April 29-May 1. (Pictured is Dylan Musgrave participating in the event.) The event helped collect donations for the college’s Student Emergency Fund and was attended by hundreds. The fund provides laptop and/or internet access, tuition assistance and stipends for students dealing with food insecurity, the costs of remote learning, as well as other needs connected to the COVID-19 pandemic. As of Tuesday, the fund had raised at least $15,099, according to the NECC Institution for Advancement.   This year brought the sixth annual iteration of Speechapalooza, the first ever to be held online. It is organized and presented by students in the Principles of Public Relations course…

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The essential worker: A view from the frontline

Shopping centers, restaurants, parks and any other place where social gatherings could take place are now shut down until further notice, unless deemed essential by the government.   Being an essential worker during this COVID-19 pandemic can be very stressful. Many workers are scared to bring it home. Sadly, because thousands of people are laid off, those working at hospitals and grocery stores are the only providers. Medical staff are working day and night as their hospitals are full, and they are only taking emergency patients. Some grocery stores currently have limited supplies on canned goods, shelved items, water and toilet paper and must limit the number of customers that come in the store, to establish social distancing. Grocery stores have also converted aisles into one-way travel lanes.   Jillian…

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NECC students aren't waiting around: Innovative services flourish during pandemic

On March 24 at 12 p.m. Gov. Charlie Baker asked the whole state of Massachusetts to stay at home and not go out in public unless absolutely necessary. Massachusetts residents, along with almost the entire United States, have been advised to stay at home for over a month, and wait till COVID-19 starts to slow down.   “Waiting around really isn’t an option for me. My first job is temporarily closed, but I still needed money for weekly and monthly expenses,” said NECC student Cole St. Jean via Zoom interview.  “So I really had no choice, but to immediately start looking for another job at the worst time.  Luckily, I discovered an app called Instacart, and I’ve been working for them ever since.”   Instacart is a…

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