Dear ML Today,
Life has been difficult for a lot of people. I thought it would get better now that we’ve been in quarantine for 10 months, but I don’t think it has gotten better. I know teachers and staff must be struggling too. At the same time, from a student’s perspective, I do not feel like there are enough efforts to help students adapt. Many people wake up, go straight to our computers, stay on Zoom until 3 PM, do homework on the computer for hours, and then go to sleep. Every day feels the same. I wonder if teachers could let us have small breaks in the middle of class so we can stretch, or take our eyes off the screen for a bit… What can we even do to make our days just a little more exciting? What efforts do you think can be made by individual students and teachers and staff alike?-Jane Doe
Dear Jane Doe,
I just wanted to let you know that we’re all there with you! Quarantine has certainly presented some incredibly unique and difficult experiences. Going to classes on zoom and staring at multiple screens a day is challenging. And zoom fatigue is such a real thing…
But besides going to classes, looking after your mental health is HUGE and should definitely be your number one priority. If there’s anything I’ve learned over the past couple of years, it’s that there’s a lot of work here at Mira Loma. That’s why it becomes so easy to neglect important things like sleep! So that’s the first thing, make sure to get your sleep. The second thing is, try to go outside and enjoy the fresh air as much as possible. We’re all cooped up inside our homes and don’t even realize that we’re missing out on a bright, sunny day, or even a refreshing breeze. If you take five minutes of your time to go out, you’ll instantly feel better. Finally, allow yourself to do things for fun! After all your hard work, you deserve a little break. Let yourself have a jam session to your new favorite song, go on a run, talk to friends, or finish up a painting you’ve been meaning to work on. Try spicing up your days by spontaneously doing small activities that will bring you joy. And also, don’t be hard on yourself when you decide to take those breaks.
As for teachers, I’m sure you’ve noticed that they, as well as other staff members, have really been making an effort to adapt to the online learning platform. While they’re doing the best they can, it can be difficult to constantly be communicating with each of their students. For the most part, teachers at Mira Loma are pretty understanding. Find a teacher or counselor you trust and strike up a conversation with them about your feelings. Try emailing your teachers and asking them if they can allow the class to take small stretch breaks during class, or even open up breakout rooms where students can chat with one another for a bit.
Though individually we have our own struggles, we’re all going through this pandemic together. Communicating with peers, teachers, and trusted adults can seem hard at first, but it can really help you pull through. Here’s to an exciting (and hopefully short) rest of your quarantine!
ML Today Advice Column