What Does It Mean To Be “Grown-up?”

By Allison Miller

One of the toughest questions a young person can ever be asked is the ever-present: “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Kids of every age are being asked this question constantly, and the person asking them generally won’t be satisfied with the answer of: “I don’t know yet.” However, even if children answer this question with conviction, chances are that they will change their minds a dozen more times before settling on an actual job. According to Major Exploration- Career Services, most students that even end up going to college will change majors at least once before graduating, and the average student actually changes majors three times!

What’s more, it isn’t just kids that are struggling with this question. Throughout their whole lives, people are always searching for that perfect job that they would be happy doing. Likely, kids of every age have heard their parents say “When I grow up.” Now while most of these kids think that their parents are already grown up, and, therefore, shouldn’t still be considering that question. What most people don’t understand is that the term ‘grown-up’ isn’t an implication of a person’s age. It’s rather a state of being that most people will never achieve.

Why is this? Why, if so many people strive for this thing, is it so impossible to be? The reason could be any number of things – lack of motivation, interest in other things, etcetera- but one of the most logical things is that no one actually knows what it means to grow up.

So what do those words mean? Who gets to define what a grown-up is? One of the ways to see it is finally being happy and satisfied with one’s life, or otherwise as finally realizing all of the deep and meaningful secrets that life seems to hold back for a person’s whole life. To kids, it likely means their parents or the older people who seem to have everything figured out: the people who can answer any question or come up with a solution to any problem they might have. Grown-ups are the people in society who have lived their lives to the fullest and have nothing left to learn or absorb from experiences, so they can live peacefully in bliss without any qualms about the world.

And yet, are any of these things actually achievable? The logical answer is no. No one actually has everything figured out. No one has all the answers, no matter how hard they try. No one will ever completely be happy, so long as everyone around them retains the same in human nature.

So, how could anyone ever become a grown-up? The simple conclusion is that no one can be, unless they manage to experience a million years’ events over only half of their life: the age society usually associates with maturity and being completely grown-up. Even then, if one could manage to do that, there is still the issue of being completely satisfied with one’s life. Generally, the phrase ‘all grown up’ comes associated with one being completely comfortable in their place in the world: their job, family, and friends. The simple truth is that humans are never satisfied. We have never been, and we never will be. If we ever settled down into comfort after doing only one important thing in our lives, society would never have advanced to the point it is now, nor would it grow past this point.

Adults and the elderly seem to be grown-up to the younger crowd, but the reality is that they aren’t. No matter who they are -parents, grandparents, single with no children, or married into their late eighties- people will always strive for something new. Without something to strive for, they would just become vegetables, which generally isn’t the vision society has of finally growing-up. People will almost always either be trying to reach a new goal or wistfully look back on their past and wish they had taken different paths. The few that are satisfied with their experiences and have no desire to do anything of merit until the day they die are just that – the few.

So, what’s the point to all of this? In the end, it all boils down to one thing: no one really needs to grow up. There’s a reason kids want to stay young and adults long for their pasts where they were too. Everyone is either currently living through or missing the freedom that youth contains, and for good reason. Why would anyone want to be forced into the routine work, sleep, eat life that being a mature grown-up entails? The fact is that we all wish for freedom. So, we need not be anxious to grow up. Rather, we should all strive to remember how to live like we don’t need to grow up. No one needs an answer to the dreaded “What do you want to be when you grow up?” question. It isn’t a requirement of happiness. When all is said and done, if we spend all our time worrying about growing up, we will never learn how to be young, and that is the most important thing to learn in life: how to live a little without worries.



How to Write an Article When You Have No Ideas For an Article

by Molly West

Who doesn’t love a good article? To write an article is to illustrate a beautiful work of art with words. It is an intimate experience, similar to performing a pas de deux. Here at Denobis, we not only write articles, but we breathe them. Articles run through our veins. If you were to pierce our skin, words would come out instead of blood.

However, what if you don’t have an idea for an article? Your whole world will stop turning. Darkness will seep into the corners of your mind. The high expectations riding on your shoulders will begin to crush you. Fear not, my fellow writer! There is a light in the abyss. By the end of this how-to, you will know how to come up with the perfect article idea in the nick of time.

Step 1: Make a list of what interests you

This could be a wide variety of things. Maybe you thoroughly enjoy music or painting. Maybe you have a passion for gender equality. Maybe you spend your free time sobbing aggressively over fictional characters who live in fictional worlds. Take all of these things you care about and take a good look at them. Look deeper than the surface.

Some people may be able to stop there. You can make a review of a show you like or a how-to of how to be good at your favorite activity. If you get an idea, that’s great! If not, then read on.

Step 2: Look at recent news for That Thing You Like

In the real world, people tend to read articles to be educated. They want to be informed on the recent happenings of our planet. Look up whatever it is you like, and see if anything interesting has happened within that world recently. For example, if you like music, you can talk about new hit songs.

Don’t have an idea yet? Now is not the time to panic. There is still hope for you.

Step 3: Step back and look at your own school

Maybe there was a great basketball game you saw on Tuesday. Some people may not have been able to attend, but want to know what happened. If you don’t have an idea for something you are actually passionate about, you can at least scrap the bottom of the barrel and do the bare minimum.

Step 4: Reconsider

Lie on the floor. Stare up at the ceiling. Watch as the entirety of vast space fills your mind. You will begin to sink into the floor as you fall deep into an existential crisis. Are articles even real? What’s the point of writing an article if we’re all going to die someday?

Maybe, somewhere in your deep and worrying thoughts, you will get an idea. Maybe your therapist will give you an idea after she tells you for the fourth time to stop running away from your feelings. If not, then you still have an option.

Step 5: Ask Ms. Kauffman

Your last hope of salvation. Ask her for an article prompt, and she will give you something witty and fun. At that point, you will be so desperate and scared, you will take what you can get. Also, since she is a teacher, you will feel intimidated into writing her idea. Thus, you will, at last, be able to write an article.

I got this article idea from Kauffman.

That concludes this how-to. Hopefully, some writers out there found it useful. If you did not get an idea for this, then you are a hopeless cause; a skeleton left behind to disintegrate. I wish you luck with your article writing, you poor soul.

The Dehumanization of Celebrities

By Molly West

Nowadays, everybody wants to be famous. With the help of the internet, it’s not that hard. Not only can someone gain fame quickly, but we have easy access to information about those people. If you’re not busy trying to get famous, you’re looking up to a celebrity. Some people are just casual followers, while others are diehard fans. This has become a normal part of our society. However, this does beg the question: do we treat celebrities with basic human decency?

Think about the last time you were at the grocery store. Chances are, there were magazines in the checkout aisle. Some of them may have been about things like food; however, the majority were most likely about celebrity drama. Magazines like People and Us Weekly expose the personal lives of celebrities-from their love affairs to where they shop. Not only that, but when an artist or actor goes on a talk show, they end up being asked personal questions when they’re there to promote a new album or movie. A celebrity’s life is no longer their own. We use their lives for our entertainment. People feed off of celebrity drama. If you’re famous enough, all of your affairs are being watched and talked about.

Fans are a different story. Some fans are respectful of a celebrity’s personal life and don’t pry. However, this is not always the case. Fans demand a lot from celebrities. They expect them to follow the orders of their fans, which includes meeting them in real life. Meet and greets are a great chance for people to meet, and it shows that celebrities do care about their fans. However, they don’t always go smoothly. There have been incidents of people being shoved, injured, crowded, and more at these meet and greets. Some fans put their own wants in front of the safety of other people, including their favorite celebrity. To them, the celebrity is there to please their own desires. A celebrity’s comfort is rarely considered by the public.

Not only that, but they are held to a high standard. Celebrities are expected to act a certain way. They are not allowed to have opinions or beliefs. They cannot show emotions other than happy and positive. If they go against the status quo, they are labeled as “trash” or “problematic” and thrown away.

Because of the way they are made out to be, many people forget to treat them with basic respect. Celebrities are not godlike; they are normal humans like us who got lucky. They feel the same emotions that we do, and have opinions like us. They should not be treated like dolls or characters who are there for your entertainment. By doing that, you are degrading them to less than human just because they are well known.

Is it okay to admire a celebrity? Yes. That is not an excuse to strip them down and dehumanize them, though. Before you talk to or about a celebrity, consider if you would want to be treated like that. If it would make you uncomfortable, then it would make them uncomfortable, too. Always keep this thought in the back of your mind when looking at media or propaganda: they are human, not perfect dolls; and they deserve to be treated as such.

Michael Smith: Proffesional Teenager

By Allison Miller

On the ninth of January, 2018, a speaker named Michael Smith made an appearance at Tri-City Prep. He spoke to the kids that day with more than one intention, and many of the kids believed him to be one of the best speakers they’d seen. He shared his story with all of the students there with hopes to inspire them to work hard and do the things they say they will, of course, but also to be able to look outside of their own little bubbles and take interest in helping those around them with pure intentions.

Michael Smith told students that even he doesn’t know what his job is. He said that every year on his taxes he writes ‘Professional Teenager’. As odd as it seems, that’s what most of his audiences would consider him to be. He’s just the right age to be able to relate to current high schoolers, and with his interest in skateboarding, his audience only finds him more relatable. One of the things that make him seem like such an inspirational person is that he doesn’t define himself by a job. He defines himself as a person who helps others by way of things that he enjoys.

That was the way he presented himself to all of the kids: as someone who used to be very flawed, but woke up and realized that he couldn’t sit around and only care about himself forever. He chooses to do the things he think will positively affect the needy around him, instead of saying that he will and giving up halfway through. One of his main messages to his audience is that setting your mind to something and actually following through with it is one of the best skills one must learn if they want to change the world in the slightest.

Smith shared how the mistakes he made in high school only came to his attention right before his senior year. He had one year to change how his entire school viewed him. That doesn’t seem like much time, but he did it. He decided that he wouldn’t be remembered by his misdoings. Once he decided so, he made sure to carry through on his promises.

This is something all people today should learn, whether it be young children, high school level teens, or their parents. If one says they want to do something, they need to do more than wish about it and actually achieve their goals through hard work.

Michael Smith shared with the students and teachers the many things he’s done (and plans to do) over his life: opening an indoor non-profit skating rink, skating from one end of America to the other, and opening his own high school, to name a few. Despite all of his achievements, however, Smith wants his audiences to pay even closer attention to the things and people that their achievements affect who aren’t in their immediate circles.

After listening to him speak about his experiences and work with the homeless and less fortunate, it’s easy to see that he is truly one of the good people on the planet. He said to the kids that day that if they were only doing volunteer work because they thought it looked better on a college application then people like him were most definitely not impressed. He explained how volunteering and taking time to help people is only truly helpful when it comes out of the goodness of one’s heart, and not for show and one’s own benefit. He told his audience that it made him angry so many high schoolers today don’t get involved in helping people without their parents forcing them or their look into the future of how assisting people could benefit them.

The biggest thing many took away from this presentation is one of the phrases Michael Smith first heard when he was the age of the majority of his audience: a high schooler. It makes sense that just a few words would impact the crowd as they were the same few words that changed his whole life around when he was in his junior year and cared only about sports and what his teammates were doing that night. These words meant the world to him and hopefully now mean the world to at least one of the people in the auditorium that Tuesday: kindness happens when no one is looking.

Michael Smith is an amazing speaker who is able to relate to his audience and stay grounded. When he speaks, he affects everyone in the room. Tricity Prep was lucky to have him come speak, and so would any other place be lucky.

New Year Resolutions

By: Ellie Cartier


Ah yes, the words people hate to hear the most around the time of the new year. Conversations that start with “What are your New Year Resolutions?” or “Have you made a New Year Resolutions list yet?” make many people want to hide under the bed until February when they can at last be free of the pestering.

Now, let’s be honest, how many people actually follow through with that horrid list of things they wanna change? Well, according to a survey done by Huffington Post, a whopping eight percent keep up with these promises. That’s… actually not much of a shock to me. Change is hard, especially when you want to change something you’ve been doing for years. So, because I care so much about you, I have put together a list of a few things that should help you follow through with some of the most common resolutions. If they don’t work, please don’t sue me.


  1. Eating healthier.

Haha, even I put this one on my list. As someone who drinks nine cans of Dr. Pepper and eats way too many chips to count, I can say this one is difficult for most. The best thing to do that I have found is to do it a little bit at the time. If you want to get rid of things such as cupcakes, sodas, or pies, start out slow. I’ve limited myself to one soda per week and it is much easier than just cutting it out entirely.


Find substitutes for the foods you want to cut out. I’ve been eating grape tomatoes instead of chips, and it’s been pretty good so far. So, cut out a little bit, and find other things for you to eat in place of those foods.


  1. Exercising more.


Honestly, this one is the worst. My exercising is exercising my fingers by typing papers or playing video games. But as I have learned the hard way, exercise does make you feel better, mentally and physically. It helps release dopamine, a hormone that causes happiness, and makes you feel better about yourself and your body.


Now, do not ever go to the gym and work out for six hours straight after never walking for more than thirty minutes in your life. Start out slow, like I said before for eating healthier. Going on short runs and small sets of squats or planks are great places to start. Begin with the basics and then advance onto the more challenging stuff. The last thing you want is to pull a muscle or break your leg.


Also, stretching is so important that words can’t even express how much it effects your work out. Start stretching off with simple stuff, please do not jump into the air and attempt to land in your middle splits.


  1. Swearing less.


This one is a really fun one for me. Instead of using non-school appropriate words in your vocabulary, why not use other things such as: Ice cream flavors, animal names, or the item closest to you.


Some examples for you if you aren’t sure what I mean or where to start: “Son of a butternut squash”, “motherfudgecakes”, “I bet my asteroid on it”, “vanilla swirl cup”, or if you want to stay hip with the kids, “holy heck” is a great place to start.

Swear jars have never been useful in my opinion. Having a good friend be there to look at you in disappointment or to smack you whenever you use a foul word isn’t a bad idea either. Just try to make yourself more conscious of the way you speak.

  1. Finding love

“Love stinks, the end.” A great quote from my dad.

To be real though, finding a girlfriend or boyfriend starts with you. If you learn to first love yourself and be okay with who you are it’s easier for you to find ‘real love’. Those who change themselves to be with someone else are only kidding themselves. If you truly love someone, you can love them for everything they are. Yes, you can still change, but it should be for the better not to make the other person like you more.

There’s a lot of misconceptions about love and infatuation in my opinion. Learning to understand the difference between the two is a valid detail to know. So, to all the singles looking for ‘the one’ this year, I wish you only the best of luck.


At the end of the day, no matter what your goals are, they are achievable if you are willing to put the work and effort into making them possible. You can do just about anything you put your mind to these days. So, good luck to all and welcome to the start of a great year!