Appreciation for Check-in Forms


Catherine Chan, Staff Writer

We are often advised to not distance ourselves from others if we are feeling miserable or experiencing some of the worst points in our life. However, we don’t have much choice when we are all distanced from each other during quarantine. 

While almost all students across the world were beyond elated after receiving news on Mar. 13, 2020, that they were to have a two-week break from school, probably none believed that it would extend into a year full of turmoil. We have found ourselves trapped living in the famous “Groundhog Day” movie, where each day and week is the same as the previous one. 

Online school has successfully created this continuous loop of attending meetings, staying on mute, receiving scrolls of homework, asynchronously working in class, and not to mention, spending an incredible amount of time by yourself. Staying in the same room each day while being flooded by work and responsibilities has accounted for much of the stress and anxiety I have dealt with this year. 

In fact, at the beginning of the second semester, I was having some of the toughest weeks where the overwhelming load of work from classes and extracurricular responsibilities truly challenged my mental health. It felt as if nothing mattered anymore and that I had no one to whom I could vent the troubles on my mind. 

However, something that I never realized during these tough times was that people’s support was so much more within reach than I could have ever imagined with the separation from quarantine. I realized this, for the first time ever, when my English teacher, Ms. Doring, asked everyone to fill out a check-in form. I approached this form thinking it had something to do with our progress on our coursework, yet, I could have not been farther from the truth. This Google form was, in fact, asking how we were feeling, and it provided a safe space for us to share any of our thoughts if we felt comfortable. 

Never in my high school and even middle school career had one of my teachers put in extra effort to understand how we were doing. Instantly, it opened a supportive oasis, and within a couple of minutes, I released all that was weighing me down. As a student, I felt extremely appreciated for enduring this long and isolated year when Ms. Doring provided me with an outlet to truly express myself and my thoughts rather than stick within the confines of normal online classes. 

A fellow peer in my English class, sophomore Nicole Zhen, recalled thinking “it’s very reassuring and considerate of Ms. Doring to do this because students don’t usually open up on their own about mental health or their feelings.”

“When teachers decide to ask students these kinds of questions, it makes us feel like we aren’t alone and that there are others going through the same things and feeling the same kind of way,” Nicole said. 

Including these forms for classes is extremely important. The amount of relief and support I imagine other students will feel from getting the opportunity to share their feelings is so paramount to our mental states throughout this digitized school year. 

“During times like this with online school and COVID, we are all facing challenges at home so having someone who understands us and tries to help us in any way they can, makes everything easier to handle,” Nicole added.

With that in mind, please be the heroes who regularly check in with your peers, friends, family members, and acquaintances, because you never know what someone is going through. By allowing them the free space to pour out their troubles, you can change the atmosphere of this pandemic.