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Students are focusing on mental health challenges in 2021

Being at high school presents challenges of adolescents at the best of times, especially when it comes to mental health. The current period of time, with the additional challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, places further stresses upon young people.

The data pertaining to the new year has been compiled by the online learning community Brainly. The company surveyed 1,000 U.S. high school students about their New Year’s resolutions. Not that all students go through the process of making resolutions. The poll discovered that 57 percent of high schoolers indicated they were making New Year resolutions. Interestingly, this represents a decrease of 20 percent decrease compared to last year. It could well be the impact of 2020’s pandemic that has led to a sizable number of people being less optimistic about their future.

A headline figure from the survey is that more students than previously have stated they want to exercise more, with 39 percent of respondents saying that they want to increase their level of physical activity in 2021 compared with 2020. In terms of how this would be accomplished, gym classes and sports leagues were cited as the optimal way.

Another way of keeping healthy is through rest and sleep. With this, over 50 percent of students said that getting more sleep would be one of their 2021 priorities.

According to Patrick Quinn, who is the parenting expert at Brainly, in a message sent to Digital Journal: “While we faced many unique challenges in 2020 with the pandemic, students should see this moment in time as a chance for a clean slate and start anew.”

What interests Quinn is the focus on keeping healthy, both in terms of physical fitness and mental wellbeing. He notes: “For teenagers especially, learning healthy habits and sticking to them—New Year’s or not—can be the key to a long, happy life. The lifestyle choices they make now will lay the foundation for what’s ahead: the real world.”

This survey also found that the majority of students (72 percent) are most concerned with making healthier decisions when it comes to their daily routines. Measures mentioned were drinking more water and walking more.

Mental health issues also featured highly. This ranged from spending less time procrastinating to taking steps to resolve social anxieties (mentioned by 35 percent of students). In terms of self-improvement, 22 percent said their goal was develop their public speaking skills. Among ‘life skills’, the top item was to improve financial literacy and budgeting.

Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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