Mind Over Body
Mental changes that students have faced during the pandemic
You wake up reluctantly to the constant ring of your alarm. After putting on your clothes, you head off to school. You are comforted by the sight of your friends congregating in the commons, and you walk over to join the conversation. Coming home, your backpack swings onto the floor, and an avalanche of paper spills out. The day is complete, so you close your eyes to go to sleep.
Wake up, school, activities, eat and sleep was the repetitive daily routine of most students.
That same daily routine existed for the first three months of the year as well, but in light of the pandemic, this has not been the case for the rest of 2020. Due to the change in routines, some students have suffered emotionally, physically, and mentally.
Freshman Ethan Walter is one student who faced trouble with motivation in his daily routine during quarantine. His lack of motivation ultimately affected how he responded to other aspects of his life.
“I just stayed inside a lot and didn’t go outside. I wasn’t motivated to,” Walter said. “I [also] had a crappy attitude towards my family.”
To cope, Walter stayed in touch with his peers, comparing their struggles with one another.
‘“I kind of adapted to it by talking to my other friends and [seeing] what they were doing and how they have been coping with it,” said Walter. “I took some of their techniques and kind of combined them with mine.”
Senior Emily Herndon also had a hard time adjusting , specifically with learning how to take AP tests online. This change had a profoundly negative effect on her emotional health.
“I [did] struggle emotionally during the pandemic, [when I thought about] missing out on the end of junior year and that feeling of high school being over. You didn’t really get that end of the year experience with going into the senior year like everyone [in the past] got,” Herndon said. “AP tests were harder to concentrate [on], and [it was hard to] study for them. In class, a teacher would know we need to be looking at this and that. It can help move you along in the right way. Since we are all at home it was kinda like you had to fend for yourself in a way.”
In order to offer emotional guidance and also provide an all-school resource for high school students, a period in the day known as Advisory was established.
“I like it because they have stuff planned that you can do, but a lot of times I have thirty minutes to catch up on work if I need to,” Walter said.
Both Walter and Herndon agreed that they think that the additional Advisory period is beneficial to students. In fact, Herndon claims that this additional period provides a sort of calm amidst the chaos of the school year.
“I know for some people it’s been a break period for all the hour classes. It is kinda like a break in the day. You can do what you want,” Herndon said.
- Take time to unwind
- Take a break from your phone and social media
- Talk with others, if you are feeling stressed
- Go outside and go for a walk or bike ride
- Take it one day at a time