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Ever since the pandemic has started, virtual school has been the new ordinary for students. With all the chaos occurring around the world, students of all ages are stressed and their mental health isn’t the greatest.
Why is Mental Health at it’s worst right now?
Is just giving students a load of assignments even going to help them? So much happens every day in people’s lives. For example, a loss in a family. But, now, with COVID-19, the chances of a loved one passing away increases. Being sad and upset from this can cause a lack of motivation, which then leads to students not doing their schoolwork. This explains why their grades drop drastically. If those teachers make phone calls or email parents and nag the students to complete their work, students get even more stressed and upset. This is just one example of how important mental health is and how it can affect teens on a daily basis.
In 2018 statistics show that 1.8 million teens experience depression. Now statistics show that over 2.2 million teens experience depression in 2020. Ever since the new COVID-19 regulations, a lot of anxiety and fear has everyone overwhelmed.
Are students mentally exhausted?
Before the pandemic started, everyone would go to school and come back with a few homework assignments to do. But now with virtual classes, students sit at their laptop for around 6 hours, then after school, have to sit in front of their laptops again for 3+ hours to do the homework assigned. Staring at a screen for around 10 hours a day isn’t just tiring physically, but also mentally.
Through personal experience, I can attest to it being exhausting. My school routine is to attend online classes for 6 hours, then finish all my work which takes another 3 to 6 hours. Lastly, I finish all my work at around 9 pm and have 2 hours to myself before I sleep. To me, it’s so tiring doing the same thing over and over again with no breaks.
Some students also have jobs and other responsibilities as well as virtual school and homework. Maybe they have to take care of their siblings or they have to work to help with the bills. Those students probably stay up all night to finish the work, or maybe they don’t even try to finish it, just so they can finally go to sleep.
More reasons why mental health isn’t the best
When students would go to school, they would socialize and were in a different environment besides home. Now, students don’t have that in-person socialization and some can’t get out of the house. Without this connection with people in person, it can make people feel isolated and alone. Some people might not have the best household and family connections. They could possibly be using school as an escape from their home. But now, being home all the time and not being able to get out can affect their mental health.
I say we give each student one assignment which has about 4 questions on it for each class. Then at the end of the week, the teachers can give students a little quiz to see if students understand the material that was taught to them. I understand that students need homework because it helps them understand the topic. But, since we are home all the time, teachers need a way to know if students are actually learning instead of them drowning in homework given.
Another solution is to normalize talking about mental health and make it mandatory for students to have mental health check-ups. Even if a lot of students say they are fine, normalizing emotions can get students more comfortable talking about how they feel. This will help them feel like they have to bottle up their emotions and help them realize they aren’t less than anyone else for feeling these things.
In an Instagram poll conducted by the Declaration, 84% of students said the felt teachers gave too much homework now. Simi Kaur said, “I literally have no motivation for school, it’s always Hey Simi you have 12 assignments due at 11:59 pm. Not hey Sim are you ok you look off… I’m mentally and physically exhausted and school makes it worse.”
These young generations are going to be taking over the world one day. These young minds need to be strong so they can progress in the future. If we ignore the fact that teens are having difficulties with their mental health, then these generations will become more and more sensitive. We can all start by asking our friends and family if they are really okay. Let’s face it… this pandemic and 2020 has been crazy, everyone takes in things differently. Being the listening ear when someone needs it can help them a lot. Let’s give students the guidance they actually need, not just more homework.