A Student’s 2020 Reality


Kaden Fields, Chief Photographer

Imagine this, you wake up and roll out of bed, you make a cup of coffee, and start to get dressed. But rather than driving to school, you sit at your desk and log into your first class of the day. Though it may seem like an unlikely reality, it is unfortunately what most students are experiencing today. Not only is this detrimental to students’ mental health but it is also harmful towards their educational experiences and social lives.

Though there isn’t enough information on how online school affects student and teacher mental health, it’s clear to see that there are much more negative impacts with online school as opposed to face-to-face school that students may feel they are experiencing. First, there is a concern with the amount of screen time that students are receiving which results in feeling physically and mentally exhausted. The blue light emitted from computer screens is proven to disrupt the body’s natural process of creating melatonin to make one drowsy at night. In the article “The Sleep Deprived Brain” by Matthew Walker, a sleep scientist at The University of California, he explains that sleep deprivation causes defects in the prefrontal cortex which is responsible for controlling the emotions and impulse region in our brains. That’s not to include the many other negative health effects that it can have on a person including lack of motivation, apathy, and exacerbation.  

Unfortunately online school is certainly more crippling to mental health than physical health. The simple concept that you are isolated from your peers, causes students to lose essential team-building and social skills. These skills are important, but even more so, online school causes loneliness. There are so many time management skills needed when it comes to balancing school work. Without the personal support of teachers and friends it can be extremely unmotivating and, at times, even depressing. Online learning is completely void of the personality that a school atmosphere has. It has turned into work– not an experience. Granted, one can argue that online school makes completing tests and homework easier because students can cheat and don’t truly have to pay attention. But what is the value in doing that if in the end students retain none of the information that was taught? It’s paradoxical, but because this is the best option we have, this is also something we all are going to just have to soldier through while it lasts.

The online experience for students is not the best option. Though it is a safe alternative to in person school, ultimately an online educational experience is more harmful for your general well-being.