When the Line Gets Blurred

By Grace Mersch

April 7, 2021

When The Line Gets Blurred

by Grace Mersch

Norwood City Schools returned to full-time instruction on March 22, and as much as I hate to be saying this, I couldn’t be more happy. 

I used to be one of the only people I knew who really liked online school. Since last March, I was able to make my own schedule, and it worked for me most of the time. I was productive. I was cooking more, sleeping more, playing more and overall enjoying life. 

But since the beginning of this school year, I started to lose some of my motivation. Maybe it was burnout, or maybe it was me realizing how close I am to actually graduating. Either way, my life started to lose its boundaries.

School became life, and life became school.

I’ve never been one to not get things done. My whole life has been spent getting every assignment completed. Waking up early and having no problem with staying up late. Forcing myself to do everything I want to in a day.

Now, I was tired. I would have breakdowns frequently over some homework assignment that does not matter; I would constantly think, “How am I going to pass AP Calculus?”; I would feel intense guilt about going to work because I knew I didn’t finish my assignment due at midnight.

For the longest time, I thought going back to school full time was not the answer. What I thought I needed was more time: more time to do homework after school, and more time away from work.

I don’t know exactly what it was that made me realize how good returning to school is for adolescent mental health. And while I still believe we should let go of expectations about making this school year “normal,” I understand it’s important to try. 

According to NBC, 76 percent of schools in the United States are operating on either a blended or full-time schedule. And with vaccines available to Ohioans age 16 and up, there is hope that a full return is possible for many students in the state.

I only hope that with this return to school, we don’t forget about the toll it took on our children’s mental health. I hope that in the future we will see more mental health support for students dealing with school stress.