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A boy struggled with OCD

I appreciated the article “Struggling with OCD” by Henry Studebaker. I have a form of OCD called dermatillomania (also known as compulsive skin picking disorder). It began at a young age, however it got worse in high school. My family members would say, “Just stop” or “Just don’t do it” as though that would magically fix everything. Or they would tell me it was normal. I kept thinking, “Do most freshmen have to clean blood from under their fingernails every night?” After months of saying I wanted help, we finally made a doctor’s appointment during the summer. My doctor diagnosed me with my condition. She referred me to a psychiatrist. Having someone I can talk to once a week feels great. I am more aware of what I am feeling and it makes me feel a little more in control.
llllllI am still working on not scratching my skin all the time. My fingers are always itching to do it and it is difficult to curb this obsession. I am really glad Henry talked about the medications he took. I was offered medications to make me feel less inclined to act on my OCD. But I declined, fearful of how it would affect my academic performance. Henry mentioned that his medication made him very sleepy in class, and I worried that I would have similar side effects if I took the medication. With the AP class I am taking this year, my stress and anxiety are rising to difficult levels again, so I am battling my OCD harder than ever. It is nice to know that I am not alone.
Name withheld

Thank you for publishing the article “Struggling with OCD.” I never realized how serious this condition is. It shouldn’t be joked about and I now know how hard it must be to deal with it. Henry is so brave to share his story. I’m so happy he found help. No one should be dealing with this alone.
Katherine Duarte, Hollywood HS

A girl’s shyness held her back

I really enjoyed the article about the girl being shy. I can relate in so many ways but fortunately I grew out of that stage. I remember being yelled at for not speaking up. I would get so upset because I’m like, “This is me and why am I being punished for being myself?” I’ve learned that if you don’t speak, you’ll never be heard. I would like to suggest to those who are shy to just open up. It will be like a whole new chapter in your life.
Quenarii Lampkin, Hollywood HS

I can relate to the article “Painfully shy” by Jaanvi Sant. I was shy in middle school and even now. When she said it’s hard to make friends at a new school, it reminded me of myself. She helped me realize that I have to try and not be shy. She shows that she’s trying to not be shy too. Being shy keeps you from experiencing different things. I have slowly been trying to overcome being shy.
Tony Sanchez, Hollywood HS

The article “Painfully Shy” by Jaanvi Sant is an article I will never forget. I was shy too. I was scared people would think I am annoying or weird. I met a friend. She was loud and energetic. I thought she would ignore me and I will not be her friend. She soon came up and said hi and she changed my life in a good way. She made me stand in front of class and not be stage fright. When I ??? if I was thinking it is not only me who is shy other people too with different kind of reasons why they act like that.
llllllThis article was very interesting for me because it was almost like my story. Jaanvi made me feel like I was her friend and we would trust each other, even if we haven’t met. She had her reasons why she was shy and I did too, but also other people and it makes me feel like I could do something. Jaanvi made me feel brave to stand up and speak. This article was precious to me.
Dulce Mandujano, Hollywood HS

I feel like I can relate to the girl’s story about being really shy. I am a very shy person. Sometimes when I need to borrow someone’s notes for a class I get really nervous to ask them if they could let me borrow them. Even if I know and get along well with that person. This also happens when I’m at the store, when I can’t find something I need, I don’t ask anyone who works there to help me. I just keep looking for myself.
llllllI started to be really shy and quiet in kindergarten. When the teacher was calling our names, she called my name and everyone was staring at me. I felt really nervous. I never said anything when the teacher called out my name. I’m still very quiet at school, but I do speak up sometimes.
Ana Perez, Hollywood HS

The article that stood out to me was “Painfully Shy.” I recently switched from a private school to a public school and everything is so vastly different. I was always shy, but it never affected me much until I changed schools. I had a tight group of four friends that slowly grew to six over eight years, and I knew everybody a little bit. When I went to Wilson I never talked to anybody and at lunch I would try to avoid people so I wouldn’t have to talk to them. I really felt like I could relate when she talked about buying things and talking to workers. Whenever I would go get food and eat inside and something was missing, like a napkin or spoon, I would very slowly walk to the counter while I mentally prepared to get a napkin. What actually stood out to me is that her name was published after she was so shy.
Devin Gallagher, Wilson MS (Glendale)

A boy learned to salsa dance

The article “Moving to the Latin beat” was inspiring. I like the way Tyler describes how his passion for dancing became stronger after every practice and performance. He knew from the start that it was going to be a challenge but he still went to tryouts and didn’t give up. Even though he messed up during a big performance he still went to the others and practiced harder. Eventually he became one of the captains of his salsa team and performed in Brazil, which is amazing! I wish I could be as brave as him for doing something he’s never done before.
Beatrice Torres, Hollywood HS 

Budget cuts make it hard to get classes

I was deeply touched by reading Destiny’s article, “My future’s on hold.” I am only in eighth grade, but I want to have the assurance that working as hard as I do right now will open the doors to college for me. How disappointing would it be to find out that no matter how good one does in school, he/she may still not have the opportunity to take the classes they need—all due to budget cuts? I believe we need to make college accessible and affordable for students. After all, we are the future of our country, and what good is a country without educated people?
Aleen Tatavosian, Wilson MS

The story “My future’s on hold” by Destiny Jackson is a very good story. It informs the students that are in high school what to look for in the future, like myself. When I read the story it worried me, knowing that I could be in a position like that. However, it motivates me to do better in school. Stories like these help us reflect on our current actions. It helps us see that later on, things happen because of those actions.
lllllI really enjoyed reading the story because it helped me think twice about getting a job. You could always use that extra money but you also have to think about your education. The saddest part is that you don’t always have a choice. That’s why we have to take advantage when we have the chance.
Elia Villanueva,Hollywood HS

Hiking in L.A.

After reading the article “Nature close to home” I wanted to go hiking because all I do is stay home and play video games. At first I thought that going hiking was horrible but now that I have read this article I realize that hiking is awesome. I’ve also worried about going hiking because what if you feel that you might fall? I’ve felt that way sometimes when I go hiking. Your article inspired me and when I have the chance to go hiking, I will.
Christian Cortes, Pacoima MS

A girl dreamed of being a pop star

I can really connect to the article “Pop star dreams.” A couple years ago, I was crazy about K-pop singers and Korean actors. I wanted to become one of them one day. While I watched K-pop audition programs on TV, I realized that there are millions of talented people who have a dream of becoming a pop star. But unfortunately, only a few out of millions become famous in the end. I think that getting high grades and going to a good college would be a lot easier than becoming a pop star.
Yoora Jung, Wilson MS

I enjoyed reading the article “Pop-star dreams” because it shows that not everything works out on the first try. I may not have gotten a similar experience, but I feel glad that the girl decided to set herself a new goal rather than lingering on her probably crushed dream from that experience. The article teaches us to not linger on the past by remembering past goals that don’t work out for you.
Nicolas James C. Sherman, Wilson MS

Giving advice in an online forum

It’s nice to know that there are people willing to help others. The article “I’m here to listen” gave me a new perspective—I should help others and give them advice because I might be doing something good for somebody.
Jaime Mora, Hollywood HS