Conversation among peers cleanses mind, reduces stress

Kate Yang

Sophomore Year 2020-2021: No dances, no football games to attend and no classrooms to chat in.

Distance learning, aside from stunting the academic aspect of school, left me staring at my computer screen for long hours without uttering more than a couple of words. The silence completely consumed my daily school hours and left me feeling empty, almost hollow on the inside.

These past couple of months coming back to in-person learning truly demonstrated the power one conversation between myself and another student or teacher holds over lifting my mood for the rest of the school day.

Especially after a long day’s worth of online testing and lectures, I missed the quick passing periods I used to spend rambling to my friends about the previous classes. Remote learning offered me nothing but eight minutes of sitting in silence, or the occasional short Facetime call with my friends.

Distance learning, to say the least, took a heavy toll on my mental health. Upon returning to in-person school, I realized how large of an impact a simple conversation holds over my mental health and emotional well-being. In fact, the first few days of school demonstrated how exchanging a couple of words, or even smiles, between classes with my friends significantly improved my outlook on life.

Teacher-to-student communication stood as another impediment in the day-to-day life of distance learning.

Although the Student Support period at the end of the school day during the 2020-2021 school year offered accommodations for questions or clarifications, asking a teacher for help over Zoom or email proved to be much more of a hassle compared to raising a hand in class or stopping by during break.

Distance learning, however, did take into account student mental health by easing the academic aspect of school.

The flexibility of my distance learning schedule allowed me to get ahead and cleared my worries in regards to late assignments and piling work. Though, in the long run, any free time only encouraged procrastination habits for the in-person school year.

Open note exams simplified maintaining a high GPA, but they did not contribute to retaining the knowledge I use for the classes I am taking this year.

In-person learning accommodates student mental health through simplified communication between students and teacher.

Boy am I glad to be back.