Meredith has offered mental health days to students in past years. This year, there have been fewer opportunities for students to have them. The mental health of college students has gotten increasingly worse in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the aftermath from it.
The Herald interviewed Mallory Kemple, Class of 2024, on their views of mental health days being taken away. They said, “I’m surprised to hear that they’re being taken away. Meredith prides itself on being accessible, [but] I think this is an incredibly inaccessible move. Almost every Meredith student I know, including myself, struggles with some kind of mental illness or is neurodivergent. Some days we need a break. There are occasionally days where we need to focus on our [mental] health before we can think about school. Mental health days are just as important as physical health days. Taking away mental health days is harmful to students.”
Eliza Ward, a current freshman, gave a similar response on their view of mental health days being taken away. When asked their thoughts on mental health days being taken away, they said, “Since I’m a freshman here at Meredith College, the transition from high school to college is still freaking me out. I get very overwhelmed with the work, even if it’s just reading for each class. Some days, I need that break in order to relieve myself. However, if my attendance is being counted towards my grade then I’m going to feel overwhelmed[,] and I will overwork myself in order to pass that class. I’m very upset that the school is now worrying about a grade and not for the mental health of a student. Mental health days are very important for everyone. Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, a lot of students have become a lot more depressed or anxious. Students are even a lot more suicidal now. It’s important to take care of ourselves and relieve any sort of emotion we have going on.”
College can be very stressful and overwhelming, by having a mental health day it allows students to relax and take a break from it all. They are meant to reduce stress and allow students to bounce back more energized allowing students to absorb all of the material.
By Kayla Dunn, Reporter