(High School Insider)
El Camino Real Charter

Minds Matter: A positive perspective of COVID-19 and its impact on students’ mental health

Even though the pandemic situation we are in now is mostly viewed as a negative aspect, some high school students are finding positive aspects of COVID-19. For example, let’s see what this rising freshman from El Camino Real Charter high school is doing on a Wednesday evening.

She is outside and running in her neighborhood, her heart beating even faster, as she finishes each mile. She is trying hard to motivate herself to finish that third mile before she stops for breath.

Despite COVID-19 negatively impacting students, this rising freshman is still trying hard to not let it stop her from her summer Cross Country training. In fact, she is even more motivated to continue. There are many students who are viewing this global pandemic, positively and developing their mental health.

According to the World Health Organization, mental health includes “emotional, psychological and social well-being.” This helps determine how we make choices and handle stress overall.

Students are still developing a sense of how their daily schedules will occur, once distance learning starts. As students are learning how to cope with an unexpected situation, they are also learning how to maintain their mental health and manage their daily schedules.

Thoughts can vary due to each student’s mentality, age, and grade level. Some troubling thoughts could include: “Can I survive through distance learning? Will I gain the same amount of knowledge through online learning, as I would have in the classroom?”

The answer to these questions will be discovered after a couple of online lectures and activities, in the Fall 2020 school year.

Meanwhile, during quarantine, I believe that COVID-19 has positive effects on my mental health because both my family and I have noticed improvements in communication and are supporting each other, through these unexpected times.

In terms of emotional health, I see that both my family and I are learning how to deal with such strong emotions and how to help each other through difficult times.

Relating to others is another important aspect of mental health and we are doing so, more than ever. Mostly everyone is trying their hardest to overcome this pandemic and through common hobbies, we are indeed having similar thoughts as we fight through these times, together.

Some people may think that COVID-19 has affected students’ mental health more negatively, but there are still some positive aspects. For example, one elementary student, Arohi, who declined to give her last name for privacy purposes, said that she is interacting with her family and finding more time in quarantine to find interests. Recently, she picked up a new activity; playing the piano.

“Due to quarantine, I decided to pick up a new hobby and I always wanted to play the piano, ever since I have seen one of my friends play it. Normally, I would have focused all my attention on soccer, but due to quarantine, I am so glad I started playing the piano. I really love it!” Arohi said.

Studies show that playing the piano or any other instrument not only improves mental health but allows them to experience less anxiety, loneliness and depression.

Such activities and development of new hobbies are positively impacting students’ mental health, as children and young adults are starting to find new interests during this global pandemic.

COVID-19 is an experience where we learn how to handle our emotions and balance it with other aspects, even though it is definitely not the best and only way possible.