The pressure to succeed in high school is nothing new. One may think it is necessary to excel in all classes, play a sport and engage in numerous extra-curriculars. Though students are told to make the best of this “new normal,” Loyola should consider this crucial question: How can it help students be productive while avoiding “burnout” and increasing stress?
The message is clear that lockdown must be fully utilized for productivity. This productivity emphasis is from the fear of not having an impressive college resumé. There is an excuse for those simply thinking if it is wrong to take a day off from working towards his or her dream college.
Students’ stress has negatively affected their productivity since the pandemic. The expectation that they have to engage in activities on top of excelling academically in a virtual environment can leave those just trying to get through the day feeling like they are falling behind. Reinforcing this productive mentality only makes it more difficult for students to adjust with these unprecedented circumstances.
Sophomore Andrew Lee stated, “Of course, I want to maintain a good GPA and engage in extra-curriculars and do well in every class, but I find it hard to be motivated without being in an actual classroom. The educational atmosphere of a classroom is gone.”
The inability to go to school and interact with classmates can cause many students to feel isolated. It makes sense that people would distract themselves with their school work. Students are constantly told that if they don’t use our time productively at home, they are wasting an opportunity for self-improvement.
Sophomore Matthew Lee stated, “ My life and homework mix together, and the line between the two is continuing to become more blurred. The constant work can sometimes add to my pressure and sometimes makes me feel less motivated to do work which leads me to procrastinate.”
Loyola’s faculty has already introduced asynchronous days as a break from the monotony of a Zoom schedule. However, asynchronous learning is still not enough for students who are potentially going to “burn out” because it does not have the interaction which demands active engagement that Loyola students need to get through the day.
Although there is an excuse for Loyola students to be worried, they can still reduce stress caused by all the uncertainty. Many clubs are providing mediums of social interaction, or students can arrange a hangout with their friends as long as they follow proper health protocols and receive approval from their local authorities. Additionally, the student body has created activities that allow students to participate in: NFL Survivor Pool, Virtual Activities Fair, Online Clubs and 2k20 or Madden Tournaments.
A productive mindset is imperative for Loyola students to maintain. We must persist in a positive mindset for the long-term although our situations at present are not favorable.