Hard times become even more stressful for student due to online learning

Isa Grunwaldt, Staff Writer

Mental health is a huge point of contention this year for students, and staying at home versus coming into school for hybrid learning is a giant factor in not only learning and comprehension but also general stress. 

Very few people are going all virtual this year, and at least one person has switched from at-home learning to the hybrid option because of those general stressors. 

“At home, it was quite difficult to remain focused and be involved. In the comfort of my own home, I was used to doing things like homework that I could do at my own pace and take breaks whenever. It was so different than the normal classroom I am used to,” Arend Vyn ‘21 said. 

Besides the constant distractions from being in your own home, there are also issues to consider such as wifi connectivity, teacher to student to Canvas understanding, and lack of peer support. 

“At home, I felt a bit more stressed about what assignments were due, and when because at home I had some issues with wifi or wasn’t focused during class, so I missed important information,” Vyn said. “This was especially difficult when teachers were just learning how to use canvas and didn’t put all assignments in or put them in different categories.” 

Guidance Counselor, Elle Burgess, who ran a program through our school called Peer to Peer Listeners last year, a program made for students by students to promote mental health and communication, knows that this is a difficult time for adjustment for students, teachers, and faculty. She has a range of students who are happy and excited about going back and seeing their friends, but also students who need to stay at home for health reasons and for higher safety measures against the coronavirus pandemic.

“Throughout these times try to be mindful and aware that your experience may not be the same as you ‘neighbor’,” Burgess said. 

Everything piled together means a super stressful time for everyone, and any little thing can help decrease stress.

 “It’s important you keep a healthy balance: take a break from the computer screen, from gaming, social media, and text messaging,” Burgess said. “If you force yourself to take breaks, your mind will be able to reset. Also, set a schedule or routine for yourself and stick to it, write it down, set alarms, have an accountability partner.” 

Staying in touch can also lower stress levels and especially for people who are all virtual, being able to message friends or see them safely outside is a major mental health boon. 

“Staying in contact with my friends was very important for being completely virtual. Meeting up with friends at a park, going for a walk, FaceTime calls, group messages or just individual texts help to stay in touch,” Vyn said. 

Reaching out to friends and giving them a little extra of your out-of-school time can mean a lot and improve not only both of your overall mental health but also help your all virtual friend to stay focused in school and feel at caught up with their peers.