How is Virtual Learning Affecting Teens Mentally? 

Laurel Davis, News Editor

With COVID-19 on the rise, virtual school has become a household topic.

Virtual school is beyond stressful for students, especially those in High School. (Credit: Walden University)

Virtual school can affect students mentally, as this is a relatively new thing for most of us. It can be stressful and even confusing at some points.

In addition to that, some kids are required to grow up learning virtually, and not experiencing the same childhood school experience the rest of us had. 

Teens that go through virtual school seem to be becoming less social. We would all sit in our room for about 5 hours a day, staring at a screen, not going outside, and not having social interactions. This can have some serious effects on a teen’s mental health.

Some teens already experience issues with things like social anxiety, and virtual school could have made it worse. When you’re virtual, you don’t have to worry about the small things, like what everyone thinks of how you look or act.  

Transitioning back into normal school can be hard for some students. When school was virtual, students had flexibility with due dates and weren’t being monitored to make sure everything was getting turned in on time. Going back to normal school was a big transition in workload and stress. This is a lot to deal with as a developing teen.  

Nevertheless, virtual school does have some pros. The flexibility can be good for some students, as it gives them that extra time to finish an assignment. It gives students more time to spend time with their families and to build stronger connections. In some cases, it gives students motivation to pick up hobbies, like playing an instrument or working out. 

I asked Freshman Elise Wittan what her opinion is on virtual school, and here’s what she said: “I don’t really like virtual school because it causes a lot more stress than in person. It’s also hard to stay motivated to do your work, I feel like sometimes the teachers give out too much work, and it’s just overall stressful.”

The next question I asked her was what she thought the pros and cons of virtual were. Her pros were that “we have more time to do stuff outside of school” and “we have more free time.” Her cons were that “it’s stressful and hard to stay focused.”