Return to School brings challenges beyond Homework


Nina Lawrence

There was a comfort in having everything I want and need at my disposal whilst completing the necessary and obligatory tasks that I had from school. I spent seven months doing my physics homework with a candle lit, window open, and blanket on my lap (weather permitting concerning the window, of course). With this free access to aspects of my personal life came the freedom of time; productivity and availability was at an all-time high for me during remote learning last year.

I understand that for many, this time was a dark and depressing experience that led to decrease in motivation and sense of purpose; however, the comfort of being at home- away from risk of COVID-19 and full of possibilities of personal improvement and academic productivity- was an adjustment for a mass of students that was hard to break out of once they got accustomed to it. We had a choice to go back hybrid up until the end of last year, but BHS now requires all students to be fully in-person, and this has broken the at-home routine that came with both quarantine and the summer in general. I have personally found that no longer simply having the morning to myself to take care of my own needs, perhaps taking a talk or eating a full, healthy breakfast, has made for a day full of stress and mental chaos. It was small pockets of time like in the mornings or during my lunch breaks at home that I could find some peace with the resources available to me 24/7. At school, feelings of anxiety or academic pressures cannot be soothed by my dog or a breath of fresh air; these luxuries may have felt odd to have during a school day at first, but getting used to them made the letting go more difficult.

It’s vital that teachers have an understanding of similar struggles that other students may be having this year, and working together to ease into it is the only way we can readjust to being in person every day. Students deserve to be understood if they are slightly falling behind, as there is rarely a chance to take a breather or self check-in during the fast paced, seven hour schedule at school. More conversations of mental health, as well as teachers making it clear that they are a safe space for students to come to with personal issues can be the light at the end of the tunnel for even just one student. If we work together, Braintree High can become a more comfortable place to be after spending an entire school year at home.