Students try to balance school and mental health

Balancing mental health and school has been a problem for teens. Students might receive up to three hours of homework after school and may have activities or jobs to go to rather than focusing on mental health. 

Students spend seven hours at school, straining their brains with information, and have at least an hour of homework to do after they get home. This leaves little time for maintaining a clear mind.  

Poor mental health can affect the way a teen performs academically. 

According to Johns Hopkins University, students choose to focus on academics over personal factors, which can then lead to a decline in academic performance. When a student is having a difficult time, it can be hard to focus on their school work which can lead to failing grades. 

“School feels draining because I have a lot of homework and tests each week,” Emily Jimmerson, junior, said. “I spend around two to three hours doing homework each night.”

Some question if grades are more important than mental health. If students focus on grades, they spend hours working on homework and studying. If students focus on their wellness, their grades could drop which may cause students to look down on themselves. 

Junior Sarah Short takes two AP classes, and four accelerated classes overall. She spends around two to four hours on homework each night. 

“School is both good and bad on my mental health. Sometimes assignments can get to me and I can get stressed out,” Short said. 

Students believe there is a way for the school to prevent a decrease in students’ mental health.  

Jimmerson thinks teachers should assign less work to do each day. The school could also provide a mental health day once a week.

“I think teachers can offer more opportunities for brain breaks during classes and fun activities and low-stress group projects,” Short said. 

Social workers Ms. Jennifer Hamiti and Ms. Shannon Kleczka said if students require extra mental health assistance, they can visit their offices or send them an email to talk with them. 

Minooka hosted a TALK Day on Sept. 29.

TALK stands for Teens Activating the Language of Kindness. Its mission is to allow students to feel comfortable around their peers and share what is on their minds. 

“The goal of TALK day is to break down barriers between peer groups, and to allow students a safe, judgement free zone to share their stories and struggles,” Hamiti said. “To see that no matter what they are going through, they are not alone.”

Look for a story on TALK Day in the Nov. 9 print issue of Nook News.