As everyone is well aware, Covid has taken a toll on teenagers. The world-wide pandemic sent our world into a panic. Teenagers were left to fend for themselves in the most important and shaping years of their lives, missing out on some of the most crucial experiences that make us who we are. Missing out on these key events and then jumping right back into their busy lives is a leap that is currently happening and needs to be discussed.
Teenagers went from busy lives filled with school, sports, work and social interaction to being home every day and having to adjust to learning through a computer screen. This was an adjustment that we never imagined having to make and when we did, it was difficult. We had to rely on our computers to learn, our phones to socialize and our TVs for the news. Now, we are back into the swing of it. However, we are expected to go back to the way things were before this life-changing pandemic, something I personally feel is impossible. First of all, we are a world that now relies on devices. Instead of powering off and putting them away we should make efforts to incorporate them into our learning and use them to our advantage. The pandemic has taught us how to handle our schoolwork with our phones on our desks, therefore we should be able to use them. It is 2021 now and our phones are our main way of communication. This is something that shouldn’t be taken away from us so suddenly. Just like we had to adjust to our lives during the pandemic we also have to adjust to our lives now that we are all learning how to live a busy life again.
The mental health crisis is something that has been a prominent problem in our society long before the pandemic. However, if this pandemic made us realize anything, it is that the mental heath crisis is something that is getting worse and needs desperate attention. Many of us began to realize that our busy lives distracted us from our problems. We needed to learn how to deal with being alone with ourselves, something that we are not used to. Now, we are back into the swing of things, however, we are doing just the opposite. We are struggling to adjust to our busy lives which can come across as overwhelming to many teenagers. This needs to be talked about, teenagers have struggled with the transition, as being expected to jump back into everything is an unreasonable task to ask. Senior Tori Fields says, “I have struggled with being fully in person in school again and getting used to the daily routine.” Many teenagers that I have spoken with have claimed to feel “burnt out” after beginning school fully in person and with sports. Although teenagers all wished for this while in quarantine, now they struggle with how to juggle all of the things that fill their days.
There are many different ways to address this issue. First and foremost is by educating. By educating teenagers, parents, teachers and peers on the mental health issues at hand and how to deal with them, we can begin to create a more balanced community. Spreading awareness on the issue can create a sense of reality for teenagers and may make them more likely and less scared to reach out for help if they need it. Parents and teachers will be in a better position to look out for signs of struggling and how to handle this. Offering things like mental health talks or clubs at school could be a step in the right direction to get teenagers involved in bettering the mental health of themselves and those around them. Most importantly just making sure that we are providing support and open ears in the this time of universal struggle.
With high schools full of struggling students, resources need to be made available to cope with the overwhelmingness of adjusting back to busy lives. Things such as wellness talks, where speakers share different outlets and resources available to students would be very beneficial. Teachers and faculty checking in and offering a hand, making sure students are aware that they understand can go a long way. By making efforts to put teenagers mental health first even with the pandemic simmering down, we will be able to create a happier and heathier learning environment.