Teens concerned about falling behind

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Although businesses have begun to reopen due to an expected decrease in the number
of COVID-19, schools are still ordered to stay closed until the next school year. As a
result, there is a new rise in concern for students and their mental health.
“I’m stressed because when I go back [to school] I’m not going to be used to any of the
stuff we learned before the pandemic,” said Michael Nolen, a Huntingdon High School
junior.
The stress for students arises from the fear that they are falling behind school work,
losing routines that keep them functional, and are overall fearful of how possibly chaotic
the transition back to school could be. Huntingdon High School administration is trying to
alleviate these fears with communication through Facebook, the Remind app, and
email.
“They are sending out school updates providing crucial information and portraying how
much they care for students through social media,” said Nolen.
Tracey Connell, a guidance counselor at Huntingdon High school, described how she
utilizes these communication networks to help connect one-on-one with students during
a time when personal communication feels rare. Connell wants students to know that the
administration of Huntingdon High School is doing everything possible to keep students
engaged while following state guidelines.
Connell is not the only person who believes that Huntingdon High School is working to
keep students sane. Sherri Sedgebear L.C.S.W., site director of the Huntingdon Carey
Counseling Center, praised the teachers, cafeteria workers, and the overall staff for
they’re “above and beyond” effort to serve students during this time of separation
anxiety. She believes that as COVID-19 continues, the mental health of teens will be
affected and also that Huntingdon High school will be able to diminish the worry of
students.
As for what students and parents can do to help the transition back to school easier,
Sedgebear recommends keeping a routine in students’ daily lives, noting that sleep
schedules specifically need to be strictly enforced.
The transition back to school could be disruptive, but students can be relieved to know
that they are not alone in the struggle to get back to normal.

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