Dear Pepper

Dear Pepper

What makes people fall in love?

I don’t really get it.

-Confused Asexual


Hi, Confused Asexual!

Walking through the halls and seeing couples at every turn can definitely make someone wonder what love is all about.  This question is a completely natural one to have though it’s a tough one to clearly answer since it is different for everyone. High school is a time where everyone is discovering themselves and figuring out who they are (and who they like). I can’t really tell you what makes other people fall in love but I can tell you that being in touch with yourself can help you find what love means to you. Think about the people in your life, who makes you feel warm, safe, and happy?  If you enjoy being around someone and feel comfortable being yourself with them, then I would say you probably love them. When it comes to romantic love, look out for signs of attraction. Is there any time you have been unreasonably nervous around someone, compelled by someone, or found yourself wanting to be around someone more than usual?  If there is, maybe explore that feeling and compare it to the ones you know you love platonically. If you don’t relate to any of that, that’s also okay. As I said, love is different for anyone and forcing it never works. Just stay in touch with yourself and ponder these questions but don’t overthink it. It is completely okay to be content with yourself and not need or feel in love with someone else. 


Much love, 



Dear Pepper, 

Lately I’ve been having a very heavy workload for weeks upon end after school. I even had a panic attack last week because I was too stressed out with all the work. Even after creating a plan to go through with it, I still kept telling myself that I wasn’t ever going to finish. As I go into this week’s gigantic load of work again, what are some things I could do to keep my head high?

-Confused Freshman


Hey, Confused Freshman!

Ok so I get it. High-school can actually feel like a nightmare sometimes. You can feel so swamped with a seemingly never ending workload and not know where to turn. I also know the advice that’s been pounded into you almost as much as the OHS fight song- “email your counselor.”  You may even shutter at me mentioning it. While I’m sure there are some great resources that the counselors and staff can give you, reaching out to adults can be hella scary.  One of the best options, in my opinion, is to make friends with your classmates!! Your peers know how you feel and helping each other can be both fun and beneficial. I really recommend study groups, class group chats, and asking your classmates to help you understand concepts. As far as keeping your spirits up, just try and take things day by day. Make a reasonable list of what to get done each day and check it off as you go.  This system is efficient and allows you to feel happy each time you check something off. I hope this advice helps with your stress and schoolwork.  



Pepper 🙂 


Dear Pepper,

As a freshman, I get a lot of advice and tips for schoolwork and social stuff, but most of it comes from adults or other freshmen. As a student here at OHS, do you have some general advice for hallways, lunch, social stuff, or other things only an OHS student would know? 

– Just your average Freshman


Dear Just Your Average Freshman, 

Within my years here at OHS, I’ve collected a variety of wisdom I can give you. 

Socially, I would suggest that in order to meet more people, you have to put yourself out there! Introduce yourself to people you don’t know, go to football games, etc. 

Although it might be a bit tough, try not to care as much about what your peers think of you. It causes so much unnecessary stress and I would recommend finding friends who like you for the real, authentic you!


Your friend,




Dear Pepper,

I have no idea what I want to do after graduation. What can I do to figure out a plan for the future?

-No Future


Dear No Future,

I suggest you spend some time thinking about what skills you have that can be applied to future careers. Feel free to explore your hobbies and interests as well; remember that you aren’t confined to one pathway!


And if you need more guidance, go to your counselor, or even better, Mrs. Boelts, our very own college and career readiness counselor. You can contact her at [email protected]


There’s also a yearlong class available to all grades called AVID where you can practice organizational skills and help prepare yourself for the future. 


Good luck…you’ve got this!! 

Your friend,