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Needed mental health Mondays

MON.| 11-07-22 | OPINION

     The older you get, the more intense and challenging school becomes. In fact, we are in school for a total of 180 days a year for 13 years accounting for approximately 2,340 days of school before we even get to college. Then, school just becomes even more difficult as the work is geared towards your desired profession. If you are like me, you have spent all of your high school years and even part of your middle school years doing at least four hours of homework each night. This has caused extreme stress levels, as finding time to get all of this work done along with participating in extracurricular activities is sometimes too much to handle. With many students feeling this way and school work taking a great toll on their mental health, high schools should implement mental health days every other Monday. 

     As we all know, the 2020-2021 school year consisted or virtual learning where 

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Graphic by Emmy Ingalls

students completed school work from the comfort of their own homes. I feel as if I am speaking for many when I say that this was very beneficial. I was able to set my own schedule and get assignments done when I wanted to, rather than having to sit in class with a certain amount of time to complete them. During this period of time, my anxiety and stress related to school significantly decreased.

     Now, in the 2022-2023 school year, where everything is back to normal and virtual learning is no longer an option, many students are once again reaching high stress levels by staying up into the early morning just to complete assignments. 

     To improve the mental health of students and allow them to finally enjoy a normal school year again, mental health days should be implemented every other Monday. On these mental health days, students could have a chance to catch up on their work or even get ahead, whichever may be needed. Schools would not be open these days, students would feel no pressure of having to be present and could comfortably work from home. Students would come to school refreshed on Tuesday and ready to learn new material. 

     These mental health Mondays would not only be valuable to the student body, but also to teachers. As I mentioned earlier, with school being closed on Monday’s it would reduce the stress on teachers to plan lessons to teach on mental health Mondays. Teachers could spend time planning out lessons for the week and could even catch up on grading previous assignments. Teachers also would report to school on Tuesday energized and ready to help their students learn and grow. 

     This would not be a setback regarding the number of days of school as students would be working on these Mondays, just not physically inside the school building. This has already been implemented at many universities, even here in North Carolina, such as the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Students can go home to see their families on these days, or if they were already home for the weekend they would have an extra day to stay at home. Students also use this day to catch up on homework or simply just take a mental day for themselves, however that may be. 

     If mental health Mondays are implemented in high schools, the mental health of both the student and staff body should hopefully increase and a more refreshed and determined week would lay ahead for all.

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