The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

Paws for Thoughts: Mental Health


My article is late…again. Sorry Ha-Yeon. I hoped to end the year strong, but I guess that’s a long shot now. To all the Observer staff members reading this, I understand how you feel now.

Amidst the chaos of looming deadlines, overwhelming assignments and the relentless pace of co***** essays, I find myself wondering why our school doesn’t recognize the crucial need for mental health days. It’s like we’re running a marathon without water – the exhaustion is real, and our mental state is taking a hit. It’s time we address the elephant in the room and make a case for why mental health days should be apart of our school calendar.

First off, let’s talk about the pressure cooker that is high school. The academic demands, extracurricular commitments and the perpetual race for college acceptances create a perfect storm for stress and burnout. We’re not machines; we’re human, and we need moments to hit the pause button, recharge and catch our breath. Mental health days can provide that much-needed respite, a chance to step back, recalibrate and return with a renewed sense of focus.

I’ve already seen my friends (hi Soham and Alex) take multiple mental health days, and it helps. We’ve gotten to the point where we’re okay with taking unexcused absences and possibly resulting 50 on an assignment for a break. It’s like trying to sprint with a backpack full of bricks, and eventually, something’s got to give. Mental health days can be the safety valve, preventing the pressure from reaching a breaking point.

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The stigma around mental health is still very much present. It’s like we’ve been handed this unwritten script that says, “Keep pushing, don’t show weakness, and definitely don’t admit if you’re struggling.” But guess what? It’s okay not to be okay. Mental health days can help normalize the conversation around mental well-being. When our school officially recognizes the importance of taking a break to prioritize mental health, it sends a powerful message. It’s one that says it’s okay to prioritize self-care over constant productivity.
Some might argue that we already have weekends and the highly anticipated winter break for rest. True, but those often become battlegrounds for catching up on missed assignments, especially because the quarter has not ended yet. Mental health days, on the other hand, are a deliberate pause focusing solely on well-being. It’s a chance for everyone to participate in activities that bring joy, whether it’s logging onto Minecraft, scrolling on Instagram Reels, or simply getting some extra sleep. It’s all about finding a sweet spot that values both mental health and achievement, shaping a school culture where students can thrive both emotionally and academically.

The health of our minds is just as important as the grades on our report cards. It’s time we advocate for mental health days as a legitimate and recognized part of WCHS culture.

P.S. Back to you Ha-Yeon 🙂

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About the Contributor
Jeremy Chung
Jeremy Chung, Print Editor-in-Chief
Jeremy Chung is a senior and is the Editor-in-Chief for the Observer. This is his fourth year taking journalism. When Jeremy is not writing for the Observer, you can find him practicing on the tennis courts or walking his dog. He also loves to watch action and comedy movies and spend time with his family and friends.

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