Students Express Themselves Differently After Quarantine

Graphic+by+Amber+Chen

Graphic by Amber Chen

Amber Chen, Opinion Editor

After a long year of isolation during quarantine, some students have completely changed. Whether it’s fashion, passions or entire personalities, it seems like many students have become different people — or have they just found the confidence to finally express their true selves? 

According to a survey of 87 students, 63 percent of students indicate that they have become more outgoing at school after staying at home for a year. 

Responses from the survey suggest that students who originally were more outgoing tended to become even more extroverted, while students who originally were more reserved tended to become even more introverted.

“I think I became a little more outgoing after quarantine because after being at home with just my family, it was really exciting to see other people at school and socialize,” junior Naomi Kao said. 

After experiencing leadership opportunities during quarantine and becoming the co-captain of the girl’s tennis team, Naomi Kao became more confident.

“When you’re on a team and you want your teammates to do well, you cheer really loudly for them and give them as much support as possible, without worrying about what others think of you,” Naomi Kao said.

On the other hand, being away from socialization for a year has made other students feel increased anxiety at school.

“It’s just hard going from seeing a lot of people to no one, and then a whole school again,” junior Kayla Hirt said. “It’s hard to get back into meeting new people.”

Although being introverted has its benefits, many people find that they can discover their passions once they try new activities.

“It’s not bad to be shy or quiet, but it’s also good to put yourself out there,” Naomi Kao said.

“When you start to participate and get out there with everyone else, it’s actually a lot of fun and you become more comfortable and make a lot of friends.”

Her sister, freshman Olivia Kao, agreed. “During the summer I was getting pretty nervous for high school, but by participating in band camp with the marching band the week before school started, I met a lot of my friends and got more familiar with the campus,” Olivia Kao said.

To reserved students whose self-expression is inhibited by their concern of peer judgement, Hirt and freshman Mattias Eberhart have some advice.

“In the end, no one else is stuck with you besides yourself, so do whatever makes you happy instead of trying to impress other people,” Hirt said.

“You should stop caring about what you do around certain people, because in reality, if the person is a decent person, they’re not gonna really care if you do something if you make a mistake,” Eberhart said. “Just be yourself and don’t be afraid to make mistakes, because those mistakes help you grow.”