Remote learning has taken a toll on students’ mental health


Emma Hellerich, Staff Reporter

To prevent the spread of COVID-19, the majority of schools in Johnson County had a strange school schedule that most students have had trouble adapting to.

Every few weeks, the De Soto School District re-evaluates the COVID cases in Johnson County and decides what learning model the district will be doing. 

School schedules have been changing frequently, which has been throwing students out of routine and has added more stress during online school.

According to the Sept. 19 article from Inside Higher Ed,  the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) said that because of the pandemic, high school students are at an increased risk for mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety.

The NCBI also states that due to the lack of communication in a child’s life, they are at a higher risk for more mental health issues in the future. It is also more difficult for students to reach out to counselors. 

According to an American Psychological Association article in October about the effect of Zoom learning, students who depend on counselors have had a tough time reaching out, especially for students in low-income areas. Some students may not be able to afford the help that they need, which has been affecting those adolescents.

As for students at De Soto High School, sophomore Caden Alyward explains how online school has affected him.

“I think the most difficult thing is staying on top of your assignments because it is very easy to fall behind. I think everyone feels lonely and is struggling to stay motivated due to it [online school],” Alyward said. 

During the USD 232 school board meeting on Nov. 17, the board made the decision that grades six through 12 will be going to remote learning and would take effect on Nov. 30. The board pointed out that more students have had lower grades these past few months.

“I want people to know that they shouldn’t be stressing over their grades because everyone is struggling, and it’s not the end of the world,” Alyward said.

Even as students are struggling during the pandemic, teachers have been trying to help.

“My teachers have helped me get to Seminar and have been talking me through the assignments when I didn’t understand,” Alyward said.

Maite Foss, a freshman at DHS, hasn’t been able to have the same high school experience that incoming freshmen have had in the past.

“It’s really hard to go out and be social during this pandemic and mostly affected the social aspect of my high school experience. I don’t get to hang out, go to sports games, take pictures with others like the past grades did, and I feel like I’m missing out,” Foss said.

Not only has Foss felt like she’s missed out on her first year of high school, but remote learning has taken a toll on her mentally.

“The most challenging thing has been getting out of bed to do my work. It’s so easy just to not do my work and lay in bed instead and it’s hard to find motivation,” Foss said

Even as students deal with the lack of motivation, Foss tries her best to think ahead.

“I’m trying to get motivated by thinking how my work will affect me later in the day. For example, if I have basketball practice, then I try to get most of my work done so I can get home and relax,” Foss said. 

As students at DHS and in the school district are doing their best to adjust to remote learning, most can agree that this year has been a challenging one for all.