Tips and Tricks on How to Live Through OCSA: The Student Survival Guide


Evelyn Tippett

A first-year student who did not read the Student Survival Guide.

Evelyn Tippett, Reporter

As a student of three years, I’ve seen new kids year after year who had no idea what they were doing. Going from a regular public school, to learning at OCSA is definitely a change. It can be intimidating for new kids to come into a school filled with not only middle schoolers, but high schoolers as well. So, what do you do?

Whether you are trying to catch up on your academics, or you want to create a killer news article, the hour lunch is a great time to eat and create. Getting a serious case of the munchies is no excuse to slack off. If you have science homework you need to get done, get it done. This school provides AI but it’s anything but artificial. AI (academic intervention) allows students to catch up on missing work if they were absent. So, if you missed that big test that could either make or break your grade, go to Academic Intervention. If you are going to perform at recital, practice (your future self will thank you). If you want to have fun, go have fun! I’m not saying you have to be doing something important all the time, you can talk to your friends the whole hour if you want to. Just take advantage of it as much as you can. Be graceful, not ungrateful.

Speaking of being graceful, this school showcases a performance every other Wednesday. This performance is known by the staff and students as recital. Every year the student body gets told the rules and restrictions of this sacred event. Although you are going to hear the rules sooner or later, making a good impression during your first recital makes you seem like a real artist. It also ensures that you don’t get a not-so-subtle eyeroll thrown at you by the seniors.

Please do not act like a rapid pack animal when you enter the theatre. Yes, the theatre is huge. Yes, I know you want to find your friends. No, you may not have your phone out. No, you can’t eat or drink in the theatre (with the exception of water).  Using the words of Mr. Walsh, the 6th grade science teacher, “The theatre is an area of respect. Respect the theatre. It warrants the respect; it deserves the respect. We’re not going to mess around in the theatre. That is our holy place… ”

You would want to be treated with respect if you were preforming, wouldn’t you? Speaking of which, how do you sign up to perform at recital? It all starts with asking your art teacher. Don’t come walking in blind, have an idea ready to present. Sometimes you can get asked to perform at recital, so if you want to show off your skills, tell your major teacher that you’re interested.

When it comes to actually performing, there are three main components you need to have a good performance. Confidence, character, and passion. If you come out onstage crossing your arms with your head down, you disengage the audience. Saying everything monotone automatically makes the audience die of boredom. Last but not least, if you aren’t passionate when performing, the audience will notice. A passionate performance makes for a passionate audience.

Yes, we take things seriously here at OCSA, and yes, there are going to be people goofing off. Don’t be one of those people, set a good example for those around you. Remember that even though OCSA is a public school, it is still an art school. There are expectations to meet, art to be made, and a school year to live through. Good luck!