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Mental Health > 4.0 GPA

I wish I could say that for the last four years of high school, I have lived to the fullest and reached the level of happiness that I have desired. 

On March 13th, the last day of normal, the atmosphere as I exited the dance studio was something different, hectic, and unsure. That day quarantine was announced, and that was the first day of our new normal. I reflected that day, I asked myself, have I done enough for the past three and a half years? Could I have done more? Have I made my freshman year self proud? All the answers for these questions are no, I have not. There was always a feeling of unclarity, a possibility that if I left my shell a little early, I could have done more. 


A few weeks ago, I deactivated most of my social media accounts for a full week. In that week, I realized how disconnected we are from the world. It was quite lonely, yes, but I did that to the purpose of getting my work done. School is important, education is essential, learning is relevant for all of us, however, if letter grades are the reason for your declined mental health, it is time to take a break. Most of us, we have our friends, counselors, teachers, families, pressure us to think that if we do not have “good” grades, we are useless and unintelligent. From comparing grades with our friends, to our parents opening our report cards, we are constantly dragged to the impression that grades define who we are. 


When Senior year arrived, I thought I was prepared. From numerous homeworks, to college applications, to chores, to taking care of ourselves, have we done enough? Honestly, I thought senior year would be similar to the first opening scene of High School Musical 3. Senior year was supposed to consist of parties, football games, dances, hanging out with friends, having a part time job, and being free. Today, I stayed in my room from 8 am to 4 pm, logging in and doing my homework, as well as the additions of other extracurriculars. 


We have been isolated from most of our friends, from teachers, some family members for almost eight months now. It is quite odd to think about our lives before, when normal was a bit different from our normal now. I have noticed that I am slowly losing motivation, almost not taking anything seriously.


 I am not a master at this, and I never will be. However, growth comes from the oddest times. Instead of looking at our situations as a punishment, a prison almost, we have the chance to finally improve ourselves. If you have been keeping yourself sheltered for so long, you can finally go, take as long as you need. 

Everyone is running the same marathon, you go at your own pace. One step at a time. 


Some tips and tricks I learned from distance learning: 

  • Wake up 20-15 minutes early so you can stretch, grab a quick breakfast, or just to get up and get ready!

  • Be sure to have water with you during class. (use reusable water bottles, which is eco friendly)

  • On your breaks, if you have time, walk your dog, feed the pets. If you don’t have any pets, say hi to your mom or your dad! 

  • After your classes go on a walk to clear your mind.

  • Be sure to manage your time well! Have a planner nearby to list all your assignments.

  • Facetime your friends! We are all isolated from everyone, make sure to check on your friends. Ask them how their day was!

  • Most importantly, sleep. 

By Angela Lim 

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