Reflections and strategies for maintaining positive mental health during the virtual semester

Keyla Sejas

While entering the school year, it’s essential to note the importance of our mental health. Considering school is online, our motivation to complete assignments may be lacking due to the lack of human interaction or other remaining factors. Throughout the several months of isolation, it had become easy for many of us to spiral down in sadness due to the extreme changes we had encountered.

As a student with mental health issues, it’s important to remember that you are never alone, even if it may seem like it. My own mental health experiences had caused many issues in my life, making it harder for me to experience the average happy teen life. Who would’ve thought that the quick and sudden change on March 13th would’ve led me to a journey of self-discovery and happiness?

Maintaining school and happiness may seem too challenging of a task, especially when you feel alone. One of the many coping mechanisms I had learned to rely on during the last months of school was journaling. While it may not seem much, writing your feelings down whenever you feel upset and then reading them later when your head is clear was extremely helpful. This method allowed me to better understand what may have bothered me, allowing me to feel freer. 

With school now in session, it can be easier for the mind to become filled with negative thoughts, leading to overwhelming stress. For many students, a lack of motivation is what causes more challenging school experiences. Although this method might not be for everyone, my color coding and organization would encourage me to keep me on check with assignments for school. I used an agenda and color-coded every assignment, which gave me the gratifying feeling when I got to draw a little check after every completed assignment until I was finished. 

Though we are unaware of our exact return date to in-person learning, we must prioritize ourselves and our wellbeings. Mental health issues aren’t as discussed as much as they should be, and you should never forget that there is always someone here for you. It’s important to realize that most of your teachers understand every situation and may offer support when needed. So whenever you need a break or a mental health day, don’t feel guilty: your happiness should be your top priority.