Distance Learning – Lee

Isabelle Lee, Junior Reporter

Struggling to stay awake, I am finishing my homework. The only light in the house is coming from my room. Like me, high school students have been making every effort to keep up with the workload from distance learning, which has them anxious, sleep-deprived, and feeling held captive in front of a screen day after day after day. I never thought American teenagers would be pining for paper and pens.

Stress among high school students has increased, and so has the workload. On top of that, the methods of turning in schoolwork are new. My stress levels have skyrocketed. I had a conversation with two of my friends from Briar Woods, and just like me, they said their anxiety is alive. Students have also been eating more and are exercising less. Another one of my friends expressed how she thought the transition from middle school to high school would be a piece of cake, but she was wrong. Students are stuck at home, and it is – to say the least – unstimulating. She was also telling me how she was never stressed about finishing tests in a classroom, but with the distance learning timed tests, finishing on time is a major stressor. I agree. I have found myself wringing moist hands and tapping my foot wildly as the clock was ticking down. Once I even turned a quiz in with only ten seconds to spare. 

With an increased workload, I’ve become more tired each day. I’ve found myself going to bed around 11:30 PM. Each night I sleep for about seven hours, which is a reasonable amount, but I used to get more sleep. I asked my friend about her sleep, and she said that she has been sleeping less because of stress and the workload. She usually sleeps at 10:30 PM. I asked another friend, and she explained how her sleep has been affected. She stays up past midnight. The decrease in sleep can lead to memory loss, mood changes, and having a tougher time concentrating.

Another immense problem distance learning has presented is screen time, which has increased dramatically. I have roughly six hours of mandatory classes during school, and I still have three more hours for homework. It doesn’t take a math genius to realize that this adds up to about nine hours a day of staring at a rectangular box five days a week. This is part of our everyday lives now, but it can’t be good for our vision or our health. 

 Distance learning has been challenging. However, that was expected. Both of my friends agreed that the workload was massive at the beginning of the year, but as school went on, it has become more manageable. Unfortunately, quizzes and tests are harder to deal with right now because we aren’t at school, but everything is harder to handle at the moment.