2010-10-06 / Front Page

Eighth Graders Talk About What's Hot, What's Not At Archbold Middle School

by Alicia Buckenmeyer Special to the Buckeye

Sara Bilen, left, and Maura Riley, Archbold Middle School sixth graders, with their Silly Bandz, silicone bracelets that assume a shape when removed from the wrist. The shapes on the table are, clockwise from left: a snail, butterfly, bulldog, pair of glasses, ice cream bar, and jack-o-lantern. When asked why they’re popular, Bilen said, “They’re just really cool.”– photo by  David Pu gh Sara Bilen, left, and Maura Riley, Archbold Middle School sixth graders, with their Silly Bandz, silicone bracelets that assume a shape when removed from the wrist. The shapes on the table are, clockwise from left: a snail, butterfly, bulldog, pair of glasses, ice cream bar, and jack-o-lantern. When asked why they’re popular, Bilen said, “They’re just really cool.”– photo by David Pu gh If you walk through the hallways of Archbold Middle School, you might see skinny jeans and two-toned hair while hearing the word “legit” this season.

Those are just a some of the trends taking hold at the school.

Eighth graders Cassidy Williams and Meridith Short, 13, and Stephan Manahan and Gavin Morton, 14, discussed the latest AMS trends in a recent interview.

What’s Hot

The teenagers showed the most enthusiasm when talking about Silly Bandz bracelets and Justin Bieber, a Canadian pop singer.

Four Archbold eighth graders took time out to discuss the latest middle school trends for 2010. From left: Meridith Short, Cassidy Williams, Gavin Morton, and Stephan Manahan. Among the hot trends are Justin Bieber, a pop singer; Silly Bandz bracelets; and communicating by text message.–photo by  Alicia Buck e n m eyer          Four Archbold eighth graders took time out to discuss the latest middle school trends for 2010. From left: Meridith Short, Cassidy Williams, Gavin Morton, and Stephan Manahan. Among the hot trends are Justin Bieber, a pop singer; Silly Bandz bracelets; and communicating by text message.–photo by Alicia Buck e n m eyer Silly Bandz, colorful silicone bracelets, come in a variety of shapes such as animals, letters of the alphabet, and even Justin Bieber themes.

Once placed over the wrist, they stretch to become a simple band, with a few kinks. When they are removed, they go back to their original shapes.

“People just love them. People collect them,” said Williams.

“It’s really extreme.”

“They just have them going up their arm,” said Manahan. He counted as many as 17 worn by a friend.

Despite their popularity, none of the four students likes the bands.

“There’s too much hype,” said Morton. “I don’t get why people think they’re so cool.”

When discussing Justin Bieber, the guys and girls were split in their feelings on the increasing devotion he’s receiving from teens.

The boys say they listen to all kinds of music. However, says Manahan, “I don’t like his music at all.”

“The girls are obsessed,” said Morton.

“Some of them are called ‘Beliebers,’” said Manahan.

The girls say Bieber’s music is good and that he’s cute.

“My friend’s obsessed,” said Williams. “I’m not obsessed, but I like him.”

Fashionistas

The boys tend to keep their clothes casual and wear tennis shoes or canvas shoes. They wear their hair short, even buzz cut.

Girls wear camisole tank tops under v-necks or long vests that flow out at the bottom. Leggings with prints like zebra stripes are also popular.

Natural hair isn’t as common as straightened, dyed, and poofed hair, created by teasing the hair with a comb. Pulling hair back might reveal big diamond-like earrings.

At school, the dress code is fair, say the four teens.

The only complaints were the ban on flip-flops and short pants being restricted to just August, September, April, and May.

Still, the students were understanding, saying flipfl ops can cause a fall.

At Archbold High School, shorts are banned altogether.

The four students have personal music players such as iPods, but they would choose a cell phone if they could have any technological device.

Many of their friends have phones with a full keyboard for text messaging.

It’s “a parent rule-thing” that he doesn’t have one, said Manahan. “I sort of agree with them, but at the same time I wish I had one.”

The students said they’d prefer texting over calling or email.

Williams and Short said that when they get a car or moped, they will get a cell phone. They think it’s unfair that younger kids have cell phones.

“I don’t see why they need it,” said Short. “They’re usually with their parents anyways.”

When the boys get a cell phone, they hope it will be a “smart” phone, with extra features like Internet access.

“It’s a laptop and a phone,” said Manahan.

Texting

Although texting is more common, use of the worldwide phenomenon Facebook, a social networking Internet website, is on the rise, shoving out instant messaging, said the girls.

Williams doesn’t have Facebook, but the other three students do.

Short says she checks hers every day. Manahan and Morton check theirs a few times a week.

Lifestyle

The girls, both on the volleyball team, easily chose sports over video games. The decision was not so easy for the boys, but sports won by a small margin.

Morton said that after sports practice and homework, there is little time remaining for video games – but in a perfect world, there would be.

On weekends, the teens go to sporting events and have sleepovers with friends. Girls enjoy watching romance movies together, while the boys watch action or comedy films, play basketball or whiffle ball, or, if they’re lucky, head to the Cedar Point amusement park.

“Usually every weekend I’m with a friend,” said Williams. “I’m never home.”

“When I come home, my parents ask who I am,” said Short.

Trend Followers Or Trend Breakers?

Manahan says peer pressure can make students want to follow the trends.

“I think some people don’t want to break the trends because they might get made fun of.”

On the whole, the school is friendly to individual styles, says Morton.

“I think that everyone has their own trend with them.”

He says his peers can and do create their own personal styles because students are respectful of each other.

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