🏠😷🦠 Life As A QuaranTEEN 🦠😷🏠 The UnifiEd Student Voice Team Blog Surrounding COVID-19
While February and thus Mental Health Awareness Month has drawn to a close, we still wanted to take some time to talk about mental health here on the blog and continue to raise awareness for...
Mental Health. So in this blog, we answer some questions about mental health with insights into our own lives and tips for students, parents, and teachers.
What do you do to maintain your mental health? High school is hard on teenagers' mental health regardless of a global pandemic and the constant changes.Having a way to maintain your mental health is ideal. It’s really important to have that one person you go to when you need to let it out. For me, it’s my cousin. It doesn’t have to be a family member or best friend but even a teacher that you trust. Another thing that really puts a strain on my mental health is school, work, and the stress that comes with it so putting the time into making a detailed schedule helps. Some people also really enjoy having a journal and writing journal entries in their happy space. Having alone time in a location that makes you happy is vital for keeping up with your mental health. Even if it is just taking a long drive blasting music doing nothing productive, it is okay to take time off! Self-care and making sure your mental and physical health is maintained is the main priority, especially during these troubling times.
How is your mental health? My last few months in high school have had the most significant strain on my mental health, from my school schedule constantly changing to missing out on time-honored traditions such as prom and racing to turn in assignments before midnight. This school year has been anything but hopeful. With a pandemic that has no end in sight, it’s hard to have things to look forward to. Most recently, I switched to online school after doing my first semester in person. The process of trying to apply for college scholarships became an even more daunting task because in-person meetings and conversations that would've taken 30 minutes now take days to schedule, coordinate, and execute. The long chain of emails that I have to go through to get the help that would have taken no time as an in-person student has made the process of finding college funds so much more difficult. I can only imagine how much worse it is for students who don’t have the same support that I do at their schools. It feels like I’m always walking on this tight rope to balance school work, paid work, extracurriculars, and now my post-secondary education. I'm teetering from one side to the other, trying to get everything taken care of, but I feel like I’m getting closer and closer to losing my balance each week. I’m mentally and physically exhausted, and the overwhelming pressure of it all just amplifies my senioritis.
What can teachers or parents do to help? Quite honestly, what you can do to help will vary tremendously from person to person, both amongst the support and the person who needs support. For me, how people can support me varies from person to person; with my friends, I like to vent, but with my parents, I want to talk about things that will distract me from anything I’m stressed about. However, the biggest thing you can do for anyone is to listen, validate, and support. The first thing you can do is let family members and all of your friends know that you are always there for them for any help they need and that you are always available to talk. Next is to truly listen to what they may say when they talk to you and validate their feelings. The worst thing that you can do for them is dismiss their feelings once they open up to you. Overall, just be there for the people you care about and be willing to help in whatever way they need help!
Mental health is such a vague topic, so it’s difficult to articulate all of the ins and outs of such a multifaceted issue. With that being said, the insight we can give as students shouldn’t be overlooked. This has been an extremely stressful year, but it has been primarily stressful for teens and young adults alike. The struggle between new learning platforms, maintaining extracurriculars, and our social life pressures begin to be overwhelming. All we can ask is that you listen to our concerns and consider every aspect of our lives when making decisions on our education. We are worth so much more than our grades and attendance.