2021: My Strange Year at OCSA


Jullian McGinnis

A sketch representing my two halves of myself

Jullian McGinnis, Reporter

The beginning of my year at OCSA was complicated. For starters, the restrictions of Covid-19 were already in effect. The world was still in lockdown, however not as bad as early 2020, where we had the strict restrictions of wear a mask anywhere you go, sanitize everything touched by a student, and socially distance between each other.  It all seemed so simple yet it made a grave impact on this school. Half of the school was learning from home and people were going into quarantine. The lack of students and their art made the community at OCSA seem very bleak and bare.

Even though the school was split apart, we were able to keep the school running. However, it really never felt the same with nearly half my friends digital. While many of my friends came back in January, I still had to go through August to December trying to keep up with my grades. This was both easy and difficult since I had some ups and downs concerning grades.

I had to occupy myself with other things like the internet, where I made some sort of split identity for myself. It was like I was a two-face, one face was the real world me, shy and quiet, and my digital face where I have more freedom to be me.

During the first semester, I was someone who kept their feelings to themself and not really speak a word when hanging out with others at lunch or at the end of the day. I was someone very shy to others when I came back to OCSA. I began to express some of the things I do on the internet between my friends like telling experiences I’ve had and just became more open, and my shyness became a little less.  I even began showing some art I made to my friends since I felt more comfortable around them. I saw myself sometimes as being silent to them at first but then they showed me that I’ve been a good friend to them even when I was unsure of that very fact; I’m proud of myself for that now.

There were moments where I felt like I was missing out on something. I had this feeling that there was something else people were being a part of and I should have been there, but I wasn’t. I learned one thing: if I were given a chance to redo my freshman year without COVID-19, I would make sure to make it the best year of high school ever. Now that I’ve reached the end of my 9th grade year feeling a bit lost, I can only hope that 10th grade will be better. I also hope that newcomers to OCSA will have a better year than we had.