Mental health days

Signe Stroming

The other night, at around 11:40 when I was still sitting at the computer finishing an assignment for APUSH, my dad came in and was shocked to see me still up. He told me that it can’t be that important, and that sleep and health were more important. In an admittedly melodramatic way, I told him that it was my future.

That melodramatic statement may have been a little too accurate. Challenging classes, sports, music, clubs, volunteering are now becoming almost the minimum requirement to get into a competitive college.

But this isn’t a column to complain about homework load. I signed myself up for a challenging course load, as did all the other students in AP or Honors classes. We knew, theoretically, what we were getting ourselves into.

Somehow 24 hours doesn’t seem like enough time to get everything done.

Health, too, can quickly become at risk. A cough quickly turns into a full-fledged cold when you’re staying up until midnight every night to finish homework, and then a cold will make your brain foggier and make it take longer to finish your assignments.

My suggestion is to take a mental health day, a day off school to regain your sanity and get your work done. This is not something to be done lightly, or else the absences may begin to accumulate and stress increases from making up work. The benefit of taking a step back to breathe is often underestimated.

But a mental health day is only a band aid on the gushing wound that is high school; it’s an extremely temporary fix. There is a larger problem here, with a system that requires students to sacrifice their health and sleep—not just one night, but every night—in order to be successful.