Prioritizing Mental Well-Being: Supporting High School Students Through Challenges

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-Deva Narayan

High school students are some of the most important groups in our society for many reasons, the primary one being that they are the ones who define the future of human civilization as a whole in the near future. It is imperative to ensure that our kind’s future is in good hands. As with any human being, even high schoolers face anxiety and struggles in their life. These may seem like only trivial issues for many adults, however, each of these struggles is a necessary challenge that defines the character and personality of every growing individual. As such, it is also the duty of society around them to ensure that the teens manage their problems in ways that do not impair their health and judgment.

The lockdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has shaken the structure of society to its roots, with people on every level facing some kind of challenge. However, many students saw it as a blessing in disguise, for they would not have to attend school in person for a long, long while. The times of online classes have drastically affected the behavior, lifestyle and mindset of many high schoolers today. There was an all time high increase in the number of social media users across the globe, with many high schoolers opening accounts just to be able to talk to their friends again. However, most social media apps also allow many forms of media to be shared, creating a black hole of entertainment. Attention would enter the app and then never leave it.

This is one of many such addictions that a student undertakes to cope with the stress in their life. The side effect of an addiction to social media is a pronounced decrease in the attention span of the youth. Many of them fidget and are always moving from one topic to another from sheer boredom, easily caused in a short span of time. Another form of addiction observed among some of the youth is excessive usage of video games. Some develop such intense addiction to it that they feel as though the video game determines the course of their life itself. Addiction is not, and never will be the cure to managing any form of anxiety long term. Although social media has many negative aspects, one of the few positive impacts it has made is in the form of promoting gym and exercise, a trend that gained great popularity during the lockdown period. Exercise is in stark contrast to social media as it promotes the well-being of the body and boosts mental health as well.

Many teenagers show a tendency to display escapism or the act of ignoring real-world problems by immersing themselves in some form of media around them. Anxiety is a fear of the future, and it is impossible to cure this fear without being able to face the reality at present. Exercise, yoga, meditation, time management, and healthy eating, are all practices that require active devotion to perform and improve a person’s quality of life in a multitude of ways. A healthy teenager has a well-functioning body and can handle any mood swings or bizarre thoughts that occur to them due to the virtue of hormonal changes. It is not uncommon to see many high schoolers participate in self-harming processes due to their innate bloodstream being affected by their brain’s hormones.

Managing the problems of high school students should be given priority in society more than it has been shown until now, for many are facing challenging issues that they are unable to speak of. It should be the duty of society as well to promote mental well-being instead of increasing the pressure of academic stress.

Note: The viewpoints and stances articulated in the article are the author’s personal views and may not necessarily align with those of the edu news team.

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