Students Struggling With Online School as Mental Health Issues Grow

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Bella Rinne

Bella Rinne illustrates her overwhelming feelings of anxiety.

When I was younger, I dreamed of this age. I imagined all the high school experiences I would have, fantasies rooted in pop culture and the often heard “high school was the best time of my life, I wish I could go back”. I never thought it would be like this.

.. just enough to pass without truly gaining learning or deriving enjoyment.”

— Bella Rinne

I have always been an anxious person, desperately wanting those grades. Throughout elementary and middle school I always felt pressured to do my absolute best and be the absolute best, and I often reached those goals.

Now the stress that used to push me forward holds me back. I lay awake at night running through to-do lists over and over in my head, shaking from fear and frustration. I feel like I’m in a constant state of panic.

But despite this fear of failing, I can no longer find the motivation to do my work or find the joy in it. I used to love going to school, and my family was constantly being reminded of that. I was creative, a huge book nerd and excelled at tests.

I haven’t read a book for fun since the start of freshman year.

And now as I’m facing a global pandemic and one of the most tense political climates in history everything feels so.. small.

This mentality is shared by dozens of students, many of my friends do just enough to pass without truly gaining any learning or deriving enjoyment.

Sedro-Woolley High School Students Grapple With a Change in Learning

By Bell Fitzpatrick

Freshman Ella Krauss, Abby Valahovich, and Sedro-Woolley High School counselor, Kari Holland reflect on how lockdown and distance learning has affected theirs and students’ mental health in 2020’s school year. 

I think the hardest thing for people is the amount of change that has occurred since Covid hit.”

— Kari Holland

There are plenty among us, who have been struggling during the pandemic these last few months. Students, teachers, and workers of all sorts. All students have different homelifes with their own obstacles with remote learning. This is new to everyone and can cause different mental states for everyone. 

“I think the hardest thing for people is the amount of change that has occurred since Covid hit,” said Holland. 

The lack of human interaction as a teenager (or even as an adult) can make some people feel mad, upset, or even stressed .  A handful of students enjoy being able to stay home during the school day, but others  have the feeling of despair or even anxiety when joining zoom calls.

     “Yes, because not being able to socially interact in real life with other students is hard for some people,” said Krauss, freshman at Sedro-Woolley High School after being asked if she thought remote learning was affecting students’ mental health. 

There are many different reasons remote learning can be hard for students. Abby Vlahovich, a freshman from Sedro-Woolley High school, was asked if she thought students’ mental health was being affected by remote learning. She shared a personal experience she has had with remote learning.

“Yes, it  personally affected me. Sometimes I get the feeling that I have no motivation and I’m sure a lot of other students feel the same way.” said Vlahovich, freshman at Sedro-Woolley High School.

A Wave of Unmotivated Students

By Keely Dittmore

As times change, students at Anacortes High School notice that their mental health has been declining while school continues online. 

“Due to the lack of social interaction I feel very isolated and it’s harder to make connections with people outside of my immediate family,” Maddie Lowrie says. 

Along with being stuck inside with family, finding the motivation to get up has been  difficult for students who are struggling with classes. 

“Getting up and leaving the house was my way to get out of bed, that was my motivation,” says Mollie Mayhew. “Also I’m finding that doing all these assignments in a short amount of time is very stressful.” 

Although online school isn’t having the best effect on students’ mental health there is also some flexibility. 

“I feel like with all this flexibility I am sometimes using this as an advantage. Such as if I need more help on assignments,” Mayhew says.