After Mental Wellness Week, we’ve all suddenly been reminded of our own hardships, visible or not. The spotlight on mental health perhaps feels even more emphasized this year, as we continue our daily lives under the strain of a pandemic.
It’s no secret that high school can be a stressful, often harrowing experience. We’re all figuring out new and innovative ways to cope with the unique array of problems that COVID-19 has brought, the most obvious of which is the shift to online learning. We’re combating our past lesson planning with a new block schedule, school-issued laptops, new social distancing guidelines, and masks, which have been swiftly integrated into the THS dress code.
With all of these new guidelines and precautions in place, the school year marches onward as planned. But how are the subjects of these new changes dealing with their academic year so far?
“What I’ve been doing is looking at other people’s experiences and seeing how they have dealt with it, as an inspiration to better myself, because a lot of people have been struggling, and when I see people struggling, I see that and I think I’ll do better,” one student says.
When asked if they changed over the quarantine, the student responded, “I have changed for the better, I would say. It has taught me that unexpected things can happen, and I think that’s a very important lesson to learn in life. We need to learn that not everything is always going to be okay.”
It’s a sentiment that is obviously very true; not everything is always going to be okay. After the umbrella of Suicide Awareness Month, it’s important to remember that there are always ways to improve your outlook on life.
When feeling stressed or overwhelmed in school, it’s known that a student can always turn toward the counseling department for guidance, advice, or simply a kind word. With that in mind, I’ve asked THS counselor Crista Payne for tips on dealing with the school year, and how exactly the counseling office is helping out.
“Definitely staying on top of your work is important. And I know that from experience, because I was the one that let that pile-up, and it adds stress,” Mrs. Payne said when asked what she thought was important academically.
“Keep a calendar, know when your assignments are due, manage your time, stay off of social media. If you need to, take a break, go for walks, yoga, listen to music,” Payne continued, about her tips for dealing with stress.
Mrs. Payne also emphasizes the creation of the THS “Counselor’s Corner,” where students are always free to ask for help or simply express their feelings. Students are welcome to come to the counseling office itself, or even scan the QR code on the Counselor’s Corner posters.
We’ve all experienced some forms of a challenge during this time, but as always, there are people and systems in place for us to fall back on. Remember, you’re loved, you’re important, and you have a future.