Online school and mental health


Online learning will bring steep troubles but with perseverance, it is possible to conquer remote learning. Photo by Juan Miguel Luz.

As online school days mount, students’ mental health dwindles. A-West went into online school starting Thanksgiving break and has not been back since. During this period, all students are spending lots of time on their Chromebooks and heaving less time to exercise and socialize.

Dr. Saju Mathew from Piedmont Healthcare says that “ Too much computer time can increase your anxiety.” 

Anxiety levels increase because more kids are online and not getting to blow off steam outside or with their friends. Because of Covid-19, many kids most likely will not be able to get this necessary socialization and will instead have to stay at home.

Om Byani, a sophomore at A-West says, “ I learn better in person than I do online because my phone and computer are my biggest distraction.”

 Distractions maybe one of the biggest problems. Byani struggles with this because it is easy to get distracted without a teacher knowing or holding that student accountable. Distractions lead to bad work habits, which lead to bad grades. 

Larry Rosen, an expert in the field of physiology, offers a solution. He recommends that students should put their phones away in a concealed space and should turn off alerts to help eliminate the constant need to check-in to things like social media.

As for Byani’s mental health he explains, “I am feeling alright, not the best, not the worst, but it is hard not getting to see anyone.”

 Without being able to see his friends a  feeling of glum swoops over Byani and many other students across the country right now because being on a computer all day for weeks on end is not good for mental health and social life.

Dr. Patricia Perez,  from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology, when talking about her son says,  “As he logged on to his computer for Zoom school week after week, he started sleeping more during the day and became more isolated from friends and family members.” 

Beth Doll,  a professor of educational psychology at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln added, “We’ll probably be seeing some socialization delays because they have not had a chance to practice these skills in a Zoom environment.” 

Not being able to properly socialize has taken a major toll on students and has led to more mental instability in youth during this time.

Research from the American Psychological Association has shown that the school environment is very important for stimulating academic motivation and social development, and various students count on schools for mental health care. The sad truth is that academic and social development has slipped during online learning. A-West now has an 11% failure rate which is fairly high and higher than last year’s failure rate which was 4%.

The research and insight from doctors suggest that students who are able to focus and stay motivated to the best of their abilities will have the best chance at success. A-West may be back in hybrid soon which would allow for students to begin to socialize safely. Possibly improving the mental health of students.