Many high school students reach a point where it feels like everything they do will impact them forever, whether it be one bad grade, a weekend missed out on, or a club they do not join.
Freshmen have to worry about a new drop schedule, being the youngest students in high school, and high school grades. Sophomores are discovering what it’s like to drive (especially with a nagging parent at their side). Juniors are worrying about the SAT, taking lots of AP classes, what clothes to wear to the next party, and everything in between. And Seniors are caught in the most stressful year of their life up to now, hanging on by the suspenseful word of colleges, applications, and decisions and possibilities.
It’s scary. It’s stressful. It’s hard to deal with. But they are not alone!
This year, Posnack School’s Director of School Counseling, JrK-12, Elisabeth Trofimtchouk, LMFT, is supporting students with a bigger push toward social-emotional development. Students need to know that they have safe places to go, friendly faces to talk to, and much-needed breaks from the troubles and stresses of high school life.
Students Always Have a Safe Space
Taking the first step is hard when one feels trapped under the weight of life, which is why the counseling office has an open-door policy. The School Counseling Department wants to stress to students that they are not in trouble if they are called to the counseling office. Counselors can help students achieve better mental health and peace of mind.
Mrs. Trofimtchouk’s office is a safe space in Fischer High School’s office. Stressed students can, as Mrs. Trofimtchouk says, “decompress, get out of the hallways, out of their classrooms, and talk about whatever is on their mind.” Mrs. Trofimtchouk offers crisis intervention and brief check-ins to students and is more than willing to provide further resources that will aid students outside of school, like specialized therapists that work one on one with students and advocate for resources for families.
This year, Posnack School has also held several wellness programs for students. In the first week of school, seniors “had a great laugh and bonded” during a goat yoga session, says senior Sophie H. For senior Sheina S-M., the goat yoga “truly was the best surprise and brightened both [her] and [her] classmates’ moods,” and she would definitely “recommend going to yoga with goats to have a good start to the day and the year.”
This year, Fischer High School students enjoyed the Find Your Balance Program, where they got to balance their day with activities they love, such as music, chess, and yoga. The activities were student-led by clubs, such as the Get Organized Club, The Chess Club, and the Tri-M Music Honor Society.
Adam W., Vice President of the Tri-M Music Honor Society, spoke about the drum circle his club planned for the program. He stated, “We wanted to find a way to include all students who signed up for the activity – musicians and non-musicians – in a way that would not only be fun, but that would allow the students to bond and share a laugh while communicating through music.”
Wellness Wednesdays are morning announcement videos that give students helpful tidbits of information about wellness and well-being as well. These videos are another example of our counseling department recognizing that we all need some more balance in our lives!
To give everyone a sneak peek of fun events and activities they can expect, Mrs. Trofimtchouk mentioned that there will be a fun video with teachers performing skits that display coping skills, activities from clubs like the Wellness Club, Blue Zones and the Get Organized Club, as well as a wellness retreat in March for National Teen Wellness Day.
The Counseling team at Fischer High School emphasizes that Wellness is not just a special occasion on certain days but assures, through small details like Wellness Wednesdays and morning announcement videos give students helpful tidbits of information, that Wellness is an integral part of everyone’s day-to-day life.
For support or mental health resources, contact Mrs. Trofimtchouk through email at [email protected].