It’s a well-known fact that the pressure to earn top marks only get stronger as students move through school, as the pursuit of post-secondary draws ever closer. In traditional school environments, there are added social stressors, such as bullying and cliques, on top of all the traditional stresses that come with being a teenager. It’s an unfortunate reality that many students find high school to be a profoundly stressful experience.
At Ontario Virtual School, we have received a lot of feedback from alumni saying that their online learning experience with us has greatly reduced their stress about school. Here are a few ways how learning online with a flexible model like OVS can help students improve their mental health during their high school years.
“It’s easy to understand and you can go at your own pace. It is much easier and more relaxed, and there is less pressure to get things done right away. It’s all done on your own time.” – Camille Marcoux, Grade 11 & 12 OVS Student
1. Working from the comfort of your own home
One of the most readily apparent benefits of online learning is being able to study from anywhere, including the comfort of your own home! Being able to access lessons from home allows students to create their own personalized space, which can be designed to suit their particular learning needs and preferences. Or, if there is another environment you find more comfortable, you can work there instead. With online learning, the world is your classroom!
2. Avoiding social pressures
Unfortunately, many stressors within the high school experience have nothing to do with its academic pressures at all. Instead, many students find the highly social environment to be the most stressful part of all. In fact, studies have shown that even subtle forms of bullying can negatively impact a student’s education. In some unfortunate cases, students have even felt undue stress or unease stemming from interactions with teachers and administrators.
Online learning sidesteps all of these issues. While students still have opportunities to communicate with classmates and teachers through email and online discussion forums, the engagement is asynchronous and, often, optional – meaning students can disengage whenever they like. This remote, pressure-free environment helps to minimize the social discomfort and pressure many shy or previously victimized students feel. In short, online learning allows students to socialize on their own terms.
3. Taking control of your education
With online learning, students can take the reins of their own education. This allows them to foster greater confidence and self-awareness. When the student is in charge, outside stressors are minimized. If students can customize their own education, they can personalize it in a way that works for them.
At Ontario Virtual School, there are many examples of this highly customizable approach to education:
– Choose the courses you want to take from a wide selection, without concern over start dates, class capacities, or conflicting scheduling.
– Study whenever you like, for as long as you like, with whatever regularity suits you best.
– Learn at your preferred pace: you’re free to pause, replay, or fast-track lessons as suits your needs.