Seniors display tears and triumphs


Blot graphic by Lauren Tarigo

Survey of 54 responses from Oct. 1 to Oct. 30, 2019

Lillian Chen

Stress is a natural occurrence in high schools across the nation, and CHS seniors have a unique way of dealing with it. The “Senior Cry Calendar,” as it’s been dubbed, resides in the senior hallway and instructs students to write their name and why they cried on the day it happened. 

The calendar has sparked debate amongst faculty and students alike, who question the calendar’s intentions and impact on the school. 

Guidance counselors Sandra Gidos and Melanie Sambataro believe that while the calendar began with good intentions and encouraged a healthy release of emotions, seniors may be overwhelmed with their collective stress.

“Crying can be a great way to reduce a high level of stress and it is great for people not to feel like they are the only ones going through something,” Sambataro said. “That being said, there are also many other ways to cope which we feel should also be encouraged. We don’t want our seniors to forget all the other amazing skills they have.” 

Senior Sidney Washington of Asbury Park believes the Cry Calendar is a positive way for seniors to express stress and relate to each other during difficult times.  

“I think it’s really helpful for people to share their emotions, especially if someone wants to talk about why they’re upset and relate with their friends,” Washington said. “It’s a positive thing because you don’t have to feel alone when you do cry. I know a lot of times when I feel like I’m sad I feel like I’m the only person… it kind of helps to show everyone else is feeling the same way that you are.”

In response to the Cry Calendar, math teacher Justine Lane placed a “Brave Calendar” on the wall outside of her room. The Brave Calendar prompts students to write down accomplishments that they felt proud of, focusing on the positives instead of the negatives. 

“As a faculty, we noticed that there were a lot of kids bursting into tears during classes … it’s the beginning of the school year and it’s stressful, but I was concerned that ‘Is the cry calendar creating a culture of crying?’ and ‘Were the seniors becoming role models for that?’ I just wanted to balance that with the Brave Calendar,” Lane said. “Have your good cry, then dust yourself off, pick yourself up and go be brave.”

As seniors face stress from all directions, it is important to find healthy coping mechanisms and stress relievers, and sharing difficult times with your friends can help.

“We are a school that supports each other no matter what. And I love that,” Lane said. “So I think they’re [the brave calendar and the cry calendar] both perfectly fine and a way to let each other know when you’re down and when you’re up.”