COVID-19 takes a toll on student mental health

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Courtesy of Dillan George

Dillian George’s mental health has gone down the drain because she misses school sports and doesn’t have motivation to do her school work. She procrastinates in school and wants to have that social interaction that she had on school and the relationships with her teachers.

By Jack Gans, Photo Manager

Since the start of the school year, students around the country have been participating in online school which has affected their mental health in many ways for the better or worse.

In some cases, the mental health of many were affected negatively due to a lack of socialization and staying home all day in front of a computer screen.  Others enjoyed this break and not being in a physical classroom, skipping the social aspects of school.  In situations like these, shining a light in a bad place can be the best thing to do.

Sitting in front of a screen all day in bed while listening to teachers and doing school work can be mentally draining for most kids.  Lots of kids go to school because it is a good escape from a toxic home environment, making it a place for them to feel happy.

Mental health has been a big topic at schools these past years and has been addressed a lot at school.  Students go to an advisory period twice a week to discuss things about mental health and stress. This gives a chance for students to learn how to deal with these issues, talk them out and learn about others.

“I have stayed in bed doing online school for most of the day which has hurt my mental health alot,” sophomore Bella Zoll said.  

School is around four hours or more a day. Most spend it in bed working on homework through their computer.  This adds up to a lot of time in bed looking at the screen which is not good for you physically, socially or mentally. 

“Online school has helped me mentally in some ways by there being more freedom on when I do my work,” sophomore Dillan George said.

 A great thing about being in school, which helps get rid of the stress of schoolwork and grades, is social life and interacting with classmates.  With online school there is not much social interaction and when there are breakout rooms it is not the same experience as it would be in person.

“I am way less motivated during online school and procrastinate a lot more then I would in school which is hurting my mental health,” George said.

Students lose motivation when they are not in a school environment because they are used to their home as a place to relax and take a break from learning. Being around friends in school and playing sports also helps motivate the students, online school does not provide the opportunity for socializing.

Motivation is a key part to having good mental health. Although there is less motivation for students during online school, they have more freedom on when they will do each assignment which relieves some stress.

Several students have spoken out saying they think that there could be more interaction in online school if teachers put students in breakout rooms with who they want to work with. This is because lots of kids are shy, have social anxiety and feel less obligated to interact when they work with people they do not know.

“Not having human interaction with classmates and teachers during online school has hurt my mental health lots,” Zoll said.  

It can be a huge mental toll on students when they do not have social interaction; it gives them a break from the stress of school work and learning.  Students also may enjoy and work better while learning in groups and with teachers talking directly to them.