Opinion | Sick days should remain

By Marykate Green, Senior Columnist

Sick days are an essential part of school. Students need to be able to take sick days when they’re sick, overwhelmed with personal issues or just need a mental health day.
Sick days were some of my favorite days in high school because even if I was actually sick, I got a break from waking up early for school and having to stress myself out with homework. I was also blessed with a mom who let me take mental health days whenever I needed them, no questions asked.
Mental health days are underrated and underused for students in high school and college. There are times where you need to let your brain rest for the day and take a break from studying and working on homework. A mental health day is not an excuse for students to be lazy, but to help reduce school stress and anxiety.
With school being mostly virtual these days, it can be hard to distance yourself from school. Sick days are harder to take because some professors feel that students should still be able to log on to Zoom and come to class, regardless of their health.
While I understand the logic of still being able to log on to Zoom while you are sick, students should till be allowed to take sick days. Sick days are just as important now, if not more important, as they were prior to the pandemic and online classes.
If a student is sick, it can be hard to sit up for long periods of time, let alone be presentable enough for class. Some professors require our cameras to be on at all times during class and when you are feeling awful, being on camera for your whole class to see is one of the last things you want to do.
If a student is overwhelmed or needs a mental health day, it can be hard to take these days when teachers require you to be excused to miss class. Or, in the case of some college classes, professors don’t allow you any absences since they feel the “real world” doesn’t allow absences.
Being able to take a break from classes, whether it’s a mental health day or an actual sick day, is especially important during this difficult time of online schooling. A lot of students are feeling overwhelmed, burnt out and disconnected from school. Taking time to give your brain a break from learning and studying every once in a while is essential for students.
Teachers and professors need to realize that while it is possible for students to still get on Zoom and attend class, it should not be required. Sick days should remain as they have been so students’ needs can be fulfilled, whatever they may be.

Marykate is a junior in Media.
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