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Distance learning kindling stress among Bruins

Furniture can be seen sitting unused through a classroom window due to the transition to distance learning. Photo by Maddie Meilinger

Stress is something everyone in the world feels at some point in their life. However, one of the biggest groups to feel stress on a daily basis are students.

Students go everyday experiencing some form of stress, mainly surrounding school and the work they are given to complete. In a time like this where everyone is stuck home, bored and tired, students are more stressed than ever. With few other options, they spend their days working until they can work no longer, worrying about whether or not they will still be able to pass despite the complications. Teachers feel as if the amount they assign is fine, and that students are not being overworked; however, according to some students, this is the most work they’ve gotten in the entire year.

“Yes, I feel like I’m getting so overworked,” said Senior Hailey Hughes. “Personally, I feel our teachers shouldn’t be overworking us, especially seniors. We literally just lost everything and everyone is just like, ‘well here is three weeks worth of homework in a day – have fun.’”

Junior Jake Vogt further expanded upon Hughes’ views with their own insights.

“I don’t think the adults realize the amount of work they put on their students,” they said. “ … If they had realized this, I feel they would assign a little less work, but they don’t. If anything, they assign more.”

Some teachers believe that they are assigning just the right amount of homework, as science teacher Peter Gammelgard explained.

“I don’t believe that any class is likely to overwork the students,” he said. “When taken in combination with other courses and many students’ extra-curricular activities, some courses may end up being the ‘straw that breaks the camel’s back,’ so to speak.”

Math teacher Gayne Nakano helped to elaborate on that thought with his own views.

“I think that most of the stress that students feel comes from outside of school — real-life (work, family, relationships, etc.),” he said. “I think that schoolwork adds to the stress that most students already have.”

Some students believe that the amount of work they receive is equal to what they might receive in their future as Senior Connor Ronka explained.

“I think the work we do in school is representative of the amount of work we will do both in college and the real world,” he said. “I’m not really sure how much the teachers understand or don’t understand [how much work they are assigning]. Some of them realize, but don’t take it into account when planning school work.”

Despite the teachers’ opinions about the amount of school work being assigned, some students believe teachers should be more relaxed around the amount of homework they assign, such as Hughes.

“[There is] no need to assign 20 things a day, especially because we have other classes and they are assigning a lot of stuff [to do every] day too,” she said. “Like, can we just assign maybe three things a week, make them all due on Friday so we [students] can manage a little better? I had really good grades before all this, and now, not so much, which is making me even more stressed.”

Vogt agreed, but believes other students might have it worse than them.

“I believe work is relative,” they said. “I feel slightly overworked, but I feel like a lot more people feel overworked than I do.”

They continued to go in depth about how this additional pressure of schooling online contributes to their anxiety.

“I tend to get very stressed over school,” they said. “I feel like I need to get good grades or everything will go downhill. I’ve found myself having breakdowns over school and my grades.”

Students are struggling, and during a time like this, what are they supposed to do besides work and more work? Stress is a normal feeling, but when it comes in continuous waves over the course of a day, it can become dangerous to a students’ mental health and well-being.

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Distance learning kindling stress among Bruins