OLATHE, Kan. — Students everywhere have gone through a lot, but especially high school students.
They rely on seeing their friends and going to those ritual high school events.
The pandemic halted all of that.
KSHB 41 News spoke with two Olathe seniors about learning during the pandemic and going back to school.
Some students in Olathe are returning back to school on Thursday. Elementary students and grades six and nine have half days. Middle and high school students start on Friday.
This year's first day of school will be a brand new experience.
“But at the same time, a lot of us were online and it’s been really hard for us and it’s going to be really hard to us to adapt to the back-to-school setting," Katie Hernandez, a student at Olathe North High School said.
The pandemic is causing stress on teens' mental health.
“For a lot of people, including myself, it just caused a bit of loneliness and you felt like you couldn’t really connect with people as much because you were just isolated, especially during quarantine," Imaje Harvey, a Student at Olathe North High School said.
The teens said it was hard on them socially, caused them to be lonely and they couldn't connect with their friends.
Being back for in-person learning and even having many students vaccinated could help with that.
The district has many options for students, teachers and staff when it comes to getting help with their mental health.
Students have access to several professionals, like social workers and psychologists.
Olathe School District had a summer mental health clinic and over 160 people took part in it, including parents.
There are also active groups in the schools like Sources of Strength, Zero Reasons Why and You Be You, which all focus on suicide prevention and promote mental health awareness.