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Students balance mental health and online school

A senior’s view on current events

Xander Kim, Staff Reporter
Originally published February 3, 2021

Cartoon by Xander Kim

Cartoon by Xander Kim

Mental health and online school, two pairs of words that don’t go well together. In this era of Zoom and Teams meetings with multiple world-altering events, it can feel overwhelming to simply exist. 

Nowadays, it is especially important to remember to monitor one’s mental health. I interviewed a senior about their thoughts on juggling mental health, online school and the many global and countrywide events that have swept the nation. 

“I feel like online school in itself hasn’t been the thing that’s affected my mental health negatively,” said the senior, who chose to remain anonymous. “But more like COVID and the reason we’re doing online school. And not seeing people every day and not seeing my friends, I feel like that has had a negative impact.” 

In relation to this, an Instagram poll reveals that other students agree with the senior’s opinion on COVID and online school,: 

“Online school isn’t the problem—it’s quarantine with your family and not being allowed to see your friends,” one student said.

The senior explained ways in which online school could be different in order to create a more comfortable environment for students. 

“I feel like at this point, there is not that much we can do to change about online school without the status of the pandemic changing first,” the senior said. “But I think generally being flexible about academic things is helpful, like teachers being understanding about late work [and] mistakes and lack of motivation.” 

However, there are things that the teachers and the district are doing correctly in their opinion. 

“I think I would be seriously struggling, like mentally and just struggling in my classes, if we didn’t have the late work policy [where] teachers can’t take points off.” the senior said. “I feel like that was a really good move that SPS implemented.” 

Then I asked the student what they do to stay mentally healthy. “[I] try to get as much sleep as possible,” the senior said. “And I try to maintain a somewhat consistent schedule, so like schedule times for when I eat my meals, schedule times for when I sleep, schedule times when I do my homework and not super strict, but just sort of general guidelines so that my time doesn’t feel as wishy washy as it did last spring.” 

The senior went  on to explain other activities they do to stay occupied.  

“I also try to go on walks and get outside and [have] physical exercise,” they continued. “And I try to socially distance see my friends somewhat regularly so that I don’t become completely socially inept.” 

Finally I asked what they would ask a therapist about juggling online school, health and global events, 

“What are your rates?” said the senior. “And do I need therapy?”

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Students balance mental health and online school