Students Utilize New Wellness Room


Nima Pendar

Students sign into the wellness room where they are welcome when they feel overwhelmed or simply need a place to relax.

Mullins said. “It’s a place for students to go to feel safe, [have] a sense of belonging and to educate about what wellness is.”

One way the counselors plan to develop the room is by hosting games during lunch on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Mullins plans on opening the wellness room throughout the day as well, especially during lunch.

The wellness room is a large room with music playing in the background, board games and a couch to relax on.

Mullins said it will help provide students with a comfortable place to relax and talk with someone if needed.

While Mullins hopes students utilize the wellness room, some students believe the general stigma around wellness might prevent students from going.

“People don’t want others to know they’re struggling,” junior Kimi Shirai said. “There’s this glorification of people being naturally good at something, which isn’t beneficial [to one’s health].”

Others believe that while the district is doing a good job focusing on students’ mental  health needs, teenagers will not use the wellness room properly, if at all.

“Sometimes, all the effort you put into something doesn’t come out the way you want it to,” senior Kendra Hoang said.

Regardless, many students believe the wellness room is very beneficial, considering the competitive academic environment of the school.

Along with being open during lunch, the wellness room will also offer a 15-minute break for students during class if they feel overwhelmed or they just need a break.

In this high-achieving community, students tend to hide their stress, which can lead to more issues with mental and physical health. Stanford coined the term ‘Duck Syndrome,’ which is when a student appears cool, calm, and collected while in reality, they’re very stressed on the inside.

The name is inspired by ducks, which look very gentle on the surface of the water while swimming, but their feet are desperately paddling to stay afloat underneath the water.

The reason for the wellness room’s potential lack of use is partly due to the Duck Syndrome, because students often do not want to let others know that they are drowning.

About 83 percent of student stress stems from school and academics, according to a study conducted by the American Institute of Stress.

Students have several different methods when it comes to reducing stress, such as sleeping an adequate amount at night, which Shirai believes is critical for students.

“I guess the best way for me to cope with stress is getting enough sleep and getting a good perspective,” Shirai said.

Sophomore Cindy Zhu said she reduces stress by actively paying attention in class and asking teachers intuitive questions because it helps her to feel calmer about more challenging classes.

It’s clear that everyone has a different way to manage stress. But there are some effective methods for all students.

“When a kid comes in and  they’re stressed out, I ask them, ‘What in your life do you do when you’re stressed out?’” Mullins said. “Breathing exercises is what I personally recommend.”

Mullins also believes that stress is not a bad thing, but rather it drives people to be productive. She said stress only becomes a problem when it prevents people from achieving their goals.

The causes of stress depend on the student. Many students can agree that the demanding rigor of school is the root of the problem, so the idea of a wellness room could be beneficial to the school culture.

Nevertheless, many students say it is important to realize that school isn’t everything.

“On your deathbed, you won’t be next to your college diploma,” Shirai said. “You’ll be with something that matters.”