OJCL Torch Winter 2019 | Page 13

But by Sunday, when my dad’s car rolled in front of the hotel to pick me up, I was distraught- but not because my weekend had been horrible. In fact, I didn’t want to leave. Because during that first convention, I learned a few invaluable lessons about the OJCL: #1. If you don’t have the foggiest clue what’s going on in your first GA, you’re not alone. Hardly anybody else does either. #2. Spirit before said GAs will be, well, an experience. But, no need to worry there either: making incoherent noises as loud as possible will do the trick, and you’ll fit right in. #3. As a lower-level student, your performance on tests will surprise you. You don’t have to know a whole lot to come home with several ribbons, you just have to not-know a little less. So when you know the answers to exactly 2 questions on the Roman History test, don’t worry, because there’s still hope. #4. Contests aren’t stressful in the slightest; the judges are super nice and understanding. Just do your best. #5. Sharing a room with your friends during a benevolent cult-like experience will form wonderful bonds. Suffering through completely exhausting nights together will bring you closer. #6. Yes, nights at OJCL are exhausting, and you will leave on Sunday incredibly tired. But everyone else will too- it’s how you know you’ve had an authentic JCL experience. You will meet some of the most intelligent people you’ll #7. ever find. Seriously though, JCL kids are wicked smart. #8. Making new “JCL friends” is inevitable. Because yes, everyone else is just as strange as you are, and happy to embrace it. And I’m happy to say that as I’ve accrued more years in the OJCL, these realizations I had at my first convention have been true for every one since. Yes, I stilled get waxed in Certamen, and yes my Roman History is still atrocious, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. So take the leap, and join the fun that is OJCL State Convention- you won’t regret it. 13