Brain Rot: Supporting Student Mental Health

Brain Rot: Supporting Student Mental Health

With pressure coming from every direction, students struggle to maintain grades while also keeping their mental health in check. This raises the question, is our school system perpetuating the stress? Or is it something more?

Many students push themselves to maintain the highest grade point average, while others struggle just to pass. Both sides of the spectrum have their own faults. Students that strive to maintain high grades can lead themselves to burnout or mental exhaustion. Keeping a certain grade point average can commonly cause stress and anxiety when these students push themselves to these high standards. 

But where is this pressure to perform well in school coming from? Multiple factors combine to build this pressure for students. Staff and teachers tend to emphasize the importance of grades with the motive of trying to see their students and school succeed. At the same time parents stress the same idea, and with this coming from all different angles, it forces the students to internalize this pressure and push themselves and sometimes can get overwhelming.

Students need to remember that in the long run grades aren’t the most important thing in a young person’s life. Students should work hard, but should not have to sacrifice their mental health for a grade. 

Many students face burnout, lack of motivation, or just overall decline in mood, due to school-based stress. Add tensions from the current state of the pandemic and an explosive political climate to the mix, and teens now more than ever have a lot to deal with. Mental health of students should take priority over grades; having parents and teachers on board to support a student’s mental health is essential. 

There are several layers of support available for students feeling overburdened from all their responsibilities at school or elsewhere, starting with high school staff and teachers. There are other counselors and even mental health therapy available for those that need more detailed support. 

As we head into the end of the school year and prepare to move on to another grade, it is important to assess one’s mental health. Feeling overwhelmed can be a normal part of growing up, and so can seeking help. Some kids just need a check-in once in a while and it’s important to recognize that and reach out. In addition, students who prioritize their mental health and well-being over a letter in the grade book will be happier in the long run.  

Don’t forget to check in with friends and other students as the school year winds down. A high GPA is not worth deteriorating mental health. Keep it in context: ten years from now when you are settled into a career, family, or whatever your future holds, it is not going to matter if you got a 4.0 in class or a 3.0. As author H. Jackson Brown Junior said, “If you’re doing your best, you won’t have any time to worry about failure.”