Adaptability: the key to overcome stress


Abria Turner

The recent pandemic brought many sudden changes to the educational system. Students and teachers had to find new ways to manage stress and overcome their academic and mental challenges.

Teachers taught their classes through the online platform Google Classroom. Though many teachers used technology in their classrooms before the pandemic, it soon became their only resource. 

“Working during the pandemic, and being somebody who was working with our youth, I felt that my role was important—simply because kids would normally see teachers everyday at school,” math teacher Christina Kim said. “So they’re supposed to have interaction with us.” 


The Mental Health Foundation defines stress as feeling overwhelmed or unable to cope with mental pressures. During the pandemic, teachers did not have a set way of teaching. When Kim realized this, she encouraged her students to be adaptable. 


“I think in terms of when we look at stress and adapting, if you’re unwilling to look at how you can change, or how you can change things around you to maybe relieve some of the burdens of the stress, then you’re always going to be in a stressed state,” Kim said. 


Stress can have a negative influence on people’s physical and mental health. It restricts their ability to work at their fullest potential. 


“If you don’t take time off, then you just keep stressing yourself out and you’ll stay on that one question,” senior Jennifer Manfredi said. “You know how teachers say to skip the question if you don’t know it? It’s the same way with homework. If you spend too much time on it, your brain won’t give your best work; you’ll be too tired to give your best.”


Kim thought it very important to have an open mind towards her students. 


“I can’t expect all of them to be at 100% every day,” Kim said. “So there was a lot more understanding and trying to be flexible to find how each person can be successful during the distance learning season.”’


Despite the change in the school environment, students created atmospheres for themselves that would aid in their success.


“Being around family is a huge factor in my stress relief,” junior Zachary Hoisington said. “I believe that if you have a group of people behind you, it’s easier for you to get through hardships.”


Students have found that it can be beneficial to do the things they love to relieve stress.


“Just take some time for yourself, maybe like 30 minutes to an hour, and regroup, take a nap, listen to music, watch a TV show that you like, and just take time for yourself to just relax,” senior Jennifer Manfredi said.


Although students may become overwhelmed by their situations, Kim believes that it is helpful to be optimistic.


“Even though we’re in our own bubble of our own stress, there are so many other good things that are happening in the world,” Kim said. “And if you’re reminded of that, it helps you to see the good things when your own tunnel is very dark.”