Teen Mental Health from Back to School

Teen Mental Health from Back to School

By Emily Trujillo ’22

Pritzker students undergo many changes in and out of school with COVID-19 that impacted their mental health this 2020-2021 school year. Pritzker students are required to attend school, join clubs and sports, and have motivation to do homework all while in the comfort of their own home which might not be of comfort anymore. Schools mandated online classes for everyone which was a distinct change for students.

Students’ priorities change when they start school and they suddenly have to put all of their effort and time into their classes. This affects a student’s mental health and wellness as a freshman stated. Correlating with mental health is motivation which a senior has expressed that “homework feels more optional than mandatory.” Losing motivation or school can cause completion in assignments for classes to suddenly decline with grades following along. 

Pritzker’s schedule change is completely different from in-person learning and has drawn opinions. A junior said, “The schedule Noble has made for us makes it much easier to deal with school.”

COVID-19 changed the lives of many and is still changing them now. Students’ 2 weeks off turned into 6 months of home. The change in learning environment was a distinct change that students have had to learn to adapt to. A freshman said, “during quarantine I had a lot of free time and time to work on myself…but I also missed hanging out with friends and family.” The 2019-2020 school year was an abrupt change and coming back to school under the same circumstances for the 2020-2021 school year “still feels like it’s not real,” said a senior. 

Students’ lives out of school have also changed because their school environment has invaded their personal home. Students might not be able to hang out with friends but are able to spend more time with family as a senior mentioned. 

Schools are doing more under these circumstances to help all of their students stay healthy mentally and physically. The Freshman said, “I think the [school] is doing a good job offering resources because my advisor told me one of our options [is] scheduling a meeting and talking with her.” A meeting with teachers is available for all students and weekly check-ins are given during advisory.

Before COVID-19, students had the opportunity to interact with other students and teachers in the school building which has changed. School was a distraction for some thus, not allowing room for bad decisions, said the freshman.

For the future, a freshman believes that schools should “think about how much homework they are assigning” in order to help students improve their mental health. The current status of classes is subject to change and there have been no set instructions for next semester.