Maintaining During Online Schooling

Adrian Flores

School this past year has been hard for many students with all of the circumstances taken into consideration. From not being able to get as much help as they need because they’re not physically in class, to getting distracted while their teachers are teaching because they’re at home, or perhaps becoming depressed because they’re not able to engage in natural human interactions. 

However, there are steps that can be taken to avoid depression during these tough times and to help maintain a good, healthy, mental stability, as well as good academic scores. 

When online school started, Andrea Varguez, a sophomore at the University of California, Berkeley, personally felt the effects of not being in class physically. She started to struggle academically and quickly became very depressed because she couldn’t keep up with or handle online schooling. 

“I realized my mental health was getting bad around the first month of online school. When my grades started to get impacted, I lost motivation for school,” Varguez said. “I managed to get my grades up and maintain my good grades during online schooling, by getting help from my schools clubs that volunteer to tutor kids virtually, and by communicating with my teachers via email or going to their virtual office hours.”

Varguez has always been top of her class and was a fun and happy daughter, sister, and friend, but almost all of those characteristics disappeared when she switched to virtual schooling. However, she took steps necessary to ensure that she was doing well academically, while still being able to maintain a positive state of mind. She started reading books, exercising daily, and joining virtual clubs to get extra help with school to maintain herself while not being in the classroom physically.

Like Varguez, millions of students all over America are currently enduring their own hardships, depression, anxiety, and even possibly failing their classes because they feel like there’s no motivation nor support since they’re not at school. For some students, school served as an escape from their households; now, they are indefinitely stuck in that environment. However, a few students have taken matters into their own hands to make sure they succeed and remain positive. According to an article by Walden University “9 Stress Management Tips for Successful Online Learning,” they mention, “Even a brisk 10-minute walk can boost endorphins (your body’s feel-good neurotransmitters), improve your mood, and more. It’s a stress management technique that’s not only good for your online education, it’s good for your body and mind as well.This shows that simply going for a walk once a day can release stress and give you the motivation you may need. Walden University also reported, “Exercise may not always easily fit into your schedule, regardless of whether you’re earning your degree online or just overly busy, but it’s a time-tested way to manage stress.”

Switching from the classroom to the bedroom was a huge adjustment for parent Lupe Ramirez and her son. A hard-working mother, who has always been involved in her child’s school environment, never thought her child would face depression at such a young age nor fail his classes. When she saw this come to be, she decided to change day-to-day activities and actions within her child’s life to help him gain back his motivation for school.

“Parents can help their child with their mental health by being there for them, ask them how their day was, help them with their homework, maintain a day-to-day schedule that way your child can get used to doing homework and have something to look forward to,” Ramirez said. “Parents, please get involved. Your child needs you more than ever during these tough times.”

Many students who have established a schedule throughout this time of online schooling have higher academic scores and better mental health than those who don’t have a schedule. According to an article by Resource to Recover, or ror.org, that was written by a guest author titled “How Students Can Maintain Their Mental Health While Engaging in Online Learning,” it stated, “If you’re working on classwork from home, make sure you’re setting a regular schedule and sticking to it. That makes it easier to balance the new stressors of online classwork with the rest of your life.”

Jerry Campos, a third-grader who always made the honor roll and loved playing soccer, enjoyed reading and going to school; however, that all went on pause when he had to adapt from in-person learning to distance learning. At such a young age, Campos had to learn how to do assignments and tests online. His grades were low and he lost interest in doing his day-to-day hobbies. With the help of his mother and by changing habits, he was able to get back on track in school and get the motivation to do the things he once loved.

My mom takes away my iPad and all of my toys when school is in session, and she always rewards me when I receive all 4’s, she also makes me read for 20 minutes every night and has an hour of homework time after dinner,” said Campos. “I eliminate distractions when school is in session, I also have my study time from five to six every night to get my work done.”

It is a phenomenal step to eliminate things such as electronics, toys, food, or anything that can potentially be a distraction but taking this step can go a long way. According to an article by the Writing Team, “Dedicate a specified time for school work each day and isolate yourself from distractions … I’ve found that it’s important to have a designated study area free from outside noises and distractions. Turn off mobile phones and TV.”

Everyone deals with depression and their mental health differently; however, by doing little things like cleaning your workspace, eating better, or maybe even eating your favorite dessert, going for a run around your neighborhood safely, or reading a book, can really go a long way,” said Varguez.