By Stefanie Sadocha
OBHS students may not be in school, but they have found creative ways to keep in touch while at home. In addition to being active on online learning platforms, both students and faculty have started actively posting on Instagram, making it easy for students to stay updated.
“Even though we are not able to be with one another physically, we can absolutely still provide support for one another to brighten our days. I consider us fortunate for living in an age where technology is so advanced,” shares OBHS Assistant Principal Mr. Leach.
First, The Purple Cloaks, OBHS’s secret society, started actively posting on an Instagram account. The account has over 300 student and faculty followers and posts daily. They honor seniors who will be attending college in the fall by posting photos of students and sharing where they will be attending and what they intend to study. Additionally, the account has had guest appearances from faculty, including Mr. Rizzuto and Mr. Soper. The cloaks also post polls on their story almost daily, asking students how they are feeling and how the account can make their day better.
“By staying connected with each other, we create opportunities to take our minds off of the stressors in our lives, reconnect with our peers and share a laugh or fond memory,” says Mr. Leach.
Soon, other groups including the Athletic Department and the Counseling Center created accounts, posting updates regularly. Additionally, Ms. Menuzzo, the middle level assistant principal, started posting weekly “Middle Level Connect” videos on Instagram. Each week she is joined by different staff members, and they discuss different topics. Past topics include book recommendations, what they are grateful for, and creative ways to celebrate the holidays.
The Student Council Officers for the Class of 2021 have also started an Instagram account. President Brianna Barefoot shares, “We wanted to reach out to our grade and keep everyone connected. Additionally, we wanted to make a video saying thank you to all of our teachers, principals, custodial staff and security staff for everything they have done this year. Now more than ever, it is important to include everyone, even if we are not physically together.”
Teenagers often have a complicated relationship with social media. They know that scrolling through social media while working on assignments is distracting, but they’re constantly looking for connections while stuck indoors.
Junior Caitlin Fuschetto shares, “I feel like my routine has been broken because I am constantly checking my phone, whether it be for the latest Google Classroom notification or to pointlessly scroll through the same websites.”
Despite social media being a potential distraction from school work, the students of OBHS continue to find comfort in staying connected with each other. Students must balance their virtual social lives with their online lessons, but it’s comforting to know that the OBEN community has used technology to stay connected and maintain a sense of normalcy during an unprecedented time.