Mental Health: A Downward Spiral


Khloe Mitchell, Writer

Every day, children and young adults tend to have a repetitive schedule, that is not really altered. Wake up, eat breakfast IF you have time, get ready while worrying about dress code, go to school, do loads of schoolwork, realize that you forgot to do that one homework assignment… It can be stressful and become so repetitive that we begin to slack off, slowly but surely. As all these things begin to pile on, the mental health of students begins to worsen.

Some teachers take into consideration that we are still so young, and have our own problems to deal with, and have many other responsibilities we must keep up with. On the other hand, other teachers tend to forget these things. Even if it is not their intention, we are left with the mindset that our feelings and mental health do not reach the level of importance that our schoolwork reaches. This past year, I and many other students have been led to believe that school comes above everything… no matter what.

There are the students who become stressed but know how to deal with it. Whether it is through their way of time management or being able to talk it out with someone, they figure it out. But no one recognizes the bunch who struggle every single day with anxiety, depression, problems at home, etcetera, until they begin to fall behind, or become angry. It is always, “Keep up!,” “Get it together!,” “You’re going to fail if you don’t prioritize this class!” You hardly ever hear a teacher who genuinely cares for their students regarding their mental health. Apparently, it is just more important to get an education, sit in a hard chair for HOURS, become overwhelmed with homework, and to meet the teacher’s expectations, than to take care of ourselves. And trust me, they really let you know when you are failing at meeting those expectations. That leaves absolutely no room for error. How are we supposed to grow as students and people while we are encouraged to become discouraged because we made one bad grade?

As we continue to move through the school year, these things cause the loss of motivation, not just for things school related, but for anything, even things we love to do. According to Youth Data 2021, 14% of 12–17-year-old students suffer from depression. This study also shows that those who have academic stress tend to do poorly in school. When given a tough time about grades by teachers and guardians, it begins to feel like we will never reach the finish line to success. We can see it, but we no longer have the motivation to continue because even when we try our best, even when we give 100% effort, it begins to feel that it will never be enough.

To all the teachers, parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles, to whomever it may concern, let us breathe. We, young children, and young adults, are trying to live up to so many expectations, while growing up in a world where we are faced with so many challenges that older generations did not have to face. Take time to help us figure things out, whether it is helping a student raise their grades or understand a subject, or just being there as someone they can reach out to when they are beginning to spiral. You never know the struggle of the internal battles a student may be facing, so be considerate.