Struggling? No Motivation? You’re Not Alone

Students often experience struggles during the winter months.


Lillian Przybyl, Staff Writer

It’s second term and mid-years are approaching. Classes are picking up pace and subjects are becoming increasingly difficult. Between the stress that comes with keeping up with grades and the colder months approaching, it’s not uncommon for staff and students alike to begin feeling “the winter blues.”


Symptoms such as a lack of motivation, weight gain/loss, increased anxiety, trouble sleeping, and more aren’t uncommon to see this time of year. 


Don’t worry, you’re not alone.


 Out of 40 students, 37 said they experience the same thing this time of year. This is often referred to as seasonal affectiveness disorder (SAD) and over 3 million people are diagnosed with it every year. 


How Our Mood Affects Us in School

“During the winter seasons I’m more tired in class which negatively affects my grades” -LHS Senior

Simply by observing the line of students outside the main office every morning, it’s obvious that people are having a harder time arriving at school on time. When walking down the hallway at 7:25, teachers are still rushing to get to their classes before announcements are done.


I’m sure most of these people just slept through their alarm but it makes me ask “how many of these kids are struggling and are just brushing it off?” A survey I conducted this week showed  80% percent of students have skipped or been late to school because of their emotional distress. 


Even when students are physically in class, their mind can be focused on something entirely different because of their mood. 


Full time students suffering from SAD often suffer from a lack of motivation. Simple tasks such as texting someone back, showing up to school, or even eating a meal becomes difficult. A senior at LHS told me about how when life becomes overwhelming, they “won’t eat breakfast or lunch.” Even students who appear fine can be struggling. Another senior struggles with their work “stack[ing] on at once from many teachers and it makes it hard to even start”. 


It’s understandable that being on time and totally present is difficult this time of year but by reaching out to teachers, it can be a little more tolerable. 


What the School Can Do To Help

A healthy student and teacher relationship is something that is needed to boost student morale. Last year, students and teachers were connected primarily through a computer screen. After being thrown back into a sudden in-person schedule, that crucial bond was never reformed. A teacher’s ability to notice a student’s lack of attendance and to reach out may be what a student needs. 


It’s also up to the student to find someone who they can reach out to. Whether it’s a friend, staff member, or someone at home you can talk to, having someone to lean on is crucial. 


To help gain a different perspective, I spoke with intern principal Mr. Mitchell. I was curious to see if students’ attendance has been impacted by mental health and my theory was correct. Mr. Mitchell noted “There is a major correlation between the increased mental health struggles and attendance.” Although it may seem awkward and uncomfortable, teachers are willing to “work with students on an individual basis and accommodate as needed.” The only way students can receive this help though, is by reaching out first. 


For those who are struggling don’t worry, winter break is just around the corner.