Mental Health

Honor McAlpine ‘22

As a new school year starts, students and teachers are excited to go back to school with a full Wolfpack schedule. However, being back in school is not what many students thought it would be. There is an overall feeling of anxiety. While there is some relief in seeing friends again and the opportunity to meet new people, stress and tension are unavoidable. While the prospect of a Wolfpack schedule and a social outlet seem promising, there are those who struggle with this transition. As Olivia Mikucki ‘23 puts it, “It’s definitely a lot less isolating this year.” While there are more opportunities this year, many students feel obligated to make up for lost time: Ana Moller ‘23 says, “There’s pressure to do everything because we missed an entire year and a half of our life.”

For freshmen and sophomores, the transition creates stress because of an entirely new academic standard, an unfamiliar schedule, and new students and teachers. As Julia Perez ‘24 puts it: “As a sophomore, with the new schedule, I feel like a freshman again. I barely recognize the kids from my class. I don’t know what to do with myself during free periods.” For upperclassmen and women, there’s a different kind of stress, brought on by a more challenging workload and seemingly endless college applications. Even so, older students are more accustomed to the Ignatius routine: “I know my way around the building, I know most of the faculty” Daniel Bell ‘22. 

However, many students have found such a sudden transition back to normalcy frustrating.  Some prefer the Wolfpack schedule, finding it refreshing. Having a more complex schedule can increase motivation and productivity. However, others preferred the gold/maroon schedule because it was a slower-moving school day with only four or five periods, which meant there was less homework per night. Moreover, the gold/maroon schedule included a later start to the school day. Getting better sleep consistently leaves students with higher functioning ability to improve their grades and standardized test scores.

Overall, as students and staff return to school and some semblance of normalcy, the effects of Covid are still lingering.