A New Normal


Jaiden Wright, Journalist

Since returning to school in person, Tahoma has been focusing on returning to normal as quickly as possible, but is that the right approach? Our normal has changed, we wear sweats to class and sometimes just sleep through them, and that’s how it’s been for over a year. We’re quickly reaching our fourth month of “normal” school. What does that mean for us?

Our freshman and sophomores haven’t been in school for almost 2 years, meaning they didn’t have the regular adjustment period to high school life. “It was weird,” Said Holly Alejo, a sophomore at Tahoma¬† “Everything is all online and you don’t know how or what they teach in person. It’s so weird interacting with people you don’t know and talking to them.” It feels like we as a school have forgotten how to communicate with each other and how to be around other people.

This year Tahoma is trying to put an emphasis on mental health, something that has been harshly affecting our nation for years and becoming more prevalent since the beginning of COVID-19. The out of darkness walk is hosted by THS on November 20th from 10 to 12 p.m. is an event to bring our community together to talk about mental health without the typical stigma around it. Speakers are coming to talk about personal experiences with depression or what it’s like to have a close friend or family member who is suffering.

An estimated 3.8 million adolescents aged 12 to 17 in the United States had at least one major depressive episode, and because of the shame many people feel about mental health, it’s very rarely talked about especially in schools. The lines of communication but most people don’t know how to access these resources or are too afraid to reach out.

So what can you do? If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, encourage them to take a walk, read a book or, hang out with someone they care about. It’s important to remember that there is always someone who cares about you and is willing to help you find your way through whatever you may be struggling with. The link at the bottom is to a list of 100 coping skills to use when you feel stressed or anxious, but if those don’t work do something you love just for fun! If feelings of depression and suicidal ideation persist it is always best to seek help from a trusted adult, like a parent, counselor or, an older sibling.

We need to bring positive discussion about mental health and its repercussions into our school. Depression and anxiety are so much more common than people would believe. Our students should have safe and healthy coping mechanisms as we readjust our lives once again to our new normal. To those who need to hear it, you are not alone.