Jag Journal Staff

We begin 2022 after enduring an assortment of unprecedented events, unimaginable tragedies, and seemingly unmanageable stressors. In a time that appears hopeless, especially with an insurrection, increased school shootings, and this last Monday shattering global records after America reported 1 million cases in one day,  the future has never seemed more uncertain. And at this time, because of digital learning separating us physically for more than a year, it seems as if our community has become fractured. 

However, while we are all enduring our struggles individually, it is important to take a moment and recognize that we as individuals are not the only ones facing adversity. To overcome the obstacles we face, we must find a way to reforge community bonds, because, in doing so, we will be able to more effectively manage our struggles. 

We acknowledge that school itself may be a contributing factor to this stress. On top of the pandemic, the heavy workloads, friendships, and even attending school at all may be a struggle. It may be hard to adjust to an in-person environment, which calls for better time management skills, waking up earlier, etc. Even besides normal issues with friendships and relationships, the way school operates could fundamentally restrict students as it promotes a binary way of thinking – you can either be correct or incorrect, leaving little room for creativity and innovative thinking, which are the things that catalyze students to desire to learn. So without a genuine desire to be here, school only becomes another worry. 


For many students, life at home has created another challenge. Divorce rates have risen 21% over the pandemic. Hunger may be an issue with nearly 18 percent of households with children reporting food insecurity. And according to a Harvard study,  61% of U.S. households with children report serious financial problems. 


But outside school and the home, there are other factors to consider; take social media, for example. Because of the isolation of the pandemic, we have grown increasingly reliant on social media for our social interactions. However, this reliance can be fraught with stress. The negative consequences associated with the Internet are only magnified with the pandemic – self-confidence destroyed by the superficial, influencer-centric nature of Instagram, increased cyberbullying, and Twitter wars.  

But, there is a solution. 

At times we are so focused on our own lives, we often forget that we aren’t the only ones who are having a difficult time. The dynamic situations of students, staff, and their families often leave us feeling disconnected from those around us. It’s time for an epistemological shift in thought. We need to rethink our relationship with school and transform it from something to be avoided at all costs or even as a tool to get to other opportunities. We need to think of it as a way to channel the creativity and imagination I knew we all have, as an opportunity to not only better ourselves academically, but to make a difference, small or big, starting with respecting teachers and attending classes.  Instead of leaving school early or choosing not to come at all, it’s time to make history by joining or starting clubs with admirable missions. It’s time to organize and plan those sports team bonding trips to the beach. And, It’s time to take advantage of the resources the school provides through the virtual counseling center and community resources page.