Tag Archives: Teachers

Should Mental Health Days Be A Thing?

stressed
“The option to take a mental health day is something that has been occasionally suggested to help alleviate stress.” Photo from: http://tmhome.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/stressed-students-meditate-03.jpg

Lots of people in high school and in college can get overwhelmed. We tend to have a lot of schoolwork, homework, and projects to do, as well as activities outside of class. People get stressed and this stress can build up quickly. Too much stress can cause a lot of issues for people. We tend to forget to eat, and we forget about other tasks that we need to do; things just start falling apart on us. The option to take a mental health day is something that has been occasionally suggested to help alleviate stress. These are days that students can take off without a penalty to rest and recuperate and just take a breather.

We have all had those times when we got overwhelmed with our work and wished we could just take a break and relax, but we knew we could not do that because we could not afford to get behind, lose points on an assignment, or miss an in-class assignment. The whole point of a mental health day is to take that much-needed break without suffering a penalty and to relax on that day off without worrying about getting behind. However, there are also concerns that these days off could be abused, so we would only get a few of them each semester. These are not meant to be used frivolously but saved until you really need them. You would not use them just because you do not feel like going but because you are reaching a breaking point and likely could not handle class that day. Also, if mental health days are put into place, professors would not excuse you from work but simply postpone it until next class.

This idea is meant to be something that instructors could work with, hence the reason why you would not be excused from the work. Mental health days would be a good way to meet in the middle for students and instructors; it gives students a helping hand when they need it and it does not really throw off an instructor’s teaching plan. This is an idea that could work out well as long as people worked together and did not abuse it.

Oxymoron: Responsible college students

Graphic by: Marie Stovall

In a time when we should all be acting like adults and being responsible, most of us are acting more irresponsible than we ever have. The lack of parental supervision and the surplus of alcohol and other drugs has made many of us into the kids that our parents never wanted. We are supposed to be acting like responsible adults; we are supposed to be getting an education in order to get a good job and eventually become successful as actual adults.

Without our parents breathing down our necks and teachers telling us specifically what we need to do, we may be getting too much independence. I personally love the independence of college, and I’m not saying that we should all be forced to live at home for the rest of our lives. However, in order for us to truly appreciate this independence, there needs to be a level of maturity that many college students haven’t gotten to yet.

I’m going to make the assumption that anyone reading this has gone to and graduated from high school. In high school there are a few authority figures who made it so that we had to do our work and go to class or there would be punishment. In my high school they had an LC (loss of credit) policy. If you missed more than five classes, in any one class, then you would LC that class and not get credit for it. Along with this, if you failed that class after LCing (which is what the majority of students did) then you would get an LC with an E (we didn’t use Fs). There was also a policy that if you showed up late three times to a class it would equal one absence.

My school had to make these policies because, to be honest, the students there were less than exemplary. More than half of the girls were either knocked up or post-abortion and the mass majority of the school would skip class to go smoke weed or drink during the day. This being said, the PTSA (apparently PTA was offensive) would do everything they could to get teachers to start cracking down more on students. But in college (yes there was a point to this rant) the mass majority of teachers do not care if you come to class, don’t remind you when assignments are due nor do they give you a hard time when you don’t turn them in, and your parents aren’t going to PTSA meetings cause we are “responsible” college students.

I understand the temptation to be crazy and drink and all that, but we need to do our work as well. If you don’t, there will be consequences. Academic probation means a very very long mandatory study hall that you have to go to daily. Would you rather do your work now or be forced to sit in a room with other people who are as unfortunate as you and do it then? There is a certain standard which college students are expected to uphold; just don’t disappoint your parents too much. Radford is fun; you wouldn’t want them to stop paying tuition because you got caught smoking pot.

There needs to be a happy median between partying and school work. Students need to learn that they are not just in college to party. Our parents are not paying for our educations for us to throw them away because studying on Thirsty Thursday just seems like a sin. College students are expected to be responsible while there are so many distractions keeping us from doing so. Students need to grow up and smell the diploma, because that is what we are here for.