Opinion: Online school is helpful in reducing stress


Photo by Mischa Trainor

With added stress from the COVID-19 pandemic, online school helps to relieve some of that stress.

Ari Blumenthal, Guest Writer

Throughout the past year, many teenage students have been struggling with a variety of different problems as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, including mental health and proper social interaction. However, contrary to popular belief, online school is not a factor in this, and it in fact causes less stress than in-person school for many students.

It is obvious that most students prefer in-person school over online school, but it is important to acknowledge the benefits that online school can provide. In-person school allows students to see their friends in real life and work in a more engaging way with their peers and teachers, while online school provides more personal benefits, such as more sleep, a more flexible schedule, and, most importantly, less stress.

The online school system was created to be extremely flexible and allow students to study at their own pace. The combination of asynchronous classes and 10 to 15 minute breaks in between each class gives students the opportunity to either spread out their work throughout the day or to finish all of their assignments early. This system has been extremely helpful to me, and many students feel the same way.

Freshman Evan Pearlman strongly believes that communicating with his peers and teachers can be done in an easier way while in an online setting. 

“Me and my classmates can Facetime at any time of the day to do classwork and homework together, which is something I like about [online school],” Pearlman said. 

Pearlman also said that the office hours are useful for students because it gives students the chance to check in with their teachers if there is any confusion or help needed.

Many students also enjoy the fact that online school takes place in the comfort of their own home. While there may be some distractions, it can also be beneficial to be in a familiar environment that you are comfortable working in. 

In my experience, the greatest benefits of online school are the breaks in between classes and the fact that there is no commute. The 10 to 15 minute breaks in between classes allow students to get away from their computer screens after a long class and get any snacks or water needed to recharge for the upcoming class.

During a normal school day, students have to wake up early, get ready for school and then drive or take the bus, arriving at school just before their first period. A normal online school day has similar hours to an in-person school day, but there is no need to drive anywhere, which allows students to get more sleep.

While this may not sound significant, sleep is actually one of the most effective ways to reduce stress, so even 30 to 45 more minutes of sleep makes a huge difference.

Even though the online school era will eventually end, there are still some significant aspects that we can implement into a normal school week. For example, many large companies such as Microsoft started a four day work week with one day a week fully online, and productivity jumped by 40% according to the World Economic Forum. 

MCPS has created a schedule that makes Wednesday an asynchronous workday, with some optional check-ins, and students have been finding this extremely useful. 

“What I like about Wednesdays is that I get to wake up later, and get all of my work done without going to class, to put it simply. It is a lot less stressful than a normal day,” freshman at Bethesda Chevy Chase High School Ari Pincus said.

I believe that when all schools reopen, the idea of having an asynchronous workday at least once a week should be seriously considered because it would help students work more efficiently and feel much less stressed out.

As a high school student myself, I know how much students have missed in-person school and seeing friends every day. Because of this, students have taken for granted the great benefits that online school gives us. While I am glad to say that this online school situation will not last much longer, I still believe that it is very important to acknowledge the benefits that online school has given us and incorporate them when we go back to in-person school.