by Mianyi Wang, UWCM
16th of December, 2022
Illustration by Ozias Silitonga
MAASTRICHT—The United World College Maastricht has reportedly solved mental health issues by giving residential students the generous opportunity to miss an entire day of class. “Students’ academic and personal success go hand-in-hand with their wellbeing, which is why we give them time to address their emotional needs,” stated the administration, who also clarified that this emotional leave day should be used for circumstances other than stress, fatigue, burnout, sleep deprivation, anxiousness, sadness, among others. Recent scientific research suggests that this policy caters especially to IB students, who do not appear to be suffering from the problems listed previously due to their iron-clad mental resilience. When interviewed, one student even claims, “I’m okay.” In contrast, no student mentions the word burnout, confirming its absence on campus.
This policy is one of several foolproof wellbeing measures in the school’s master plan to ensure every student is well, because mental health is absolutely the #1 priority. These measures are so effective because the school actively asks for feedback and takes constructive criticism extremely well, all while ensuring efficiency. In fact, during tutor time this week, students were asked to fill out a form about their levels of stress in fourteen different areas. This form traveled to the Heads of Year, who asked the student council for solutions, who then met for an insightful two hours to send another form to the student body for suggestions. To everyone’s satisfaction, the process takes a mere six months to complete.
What’s more important is that the school tackles the root cause of the issue surrounding mental health: Dutch weather. “Don’t forget to take your daily vitamin D pills,” the school advises in times of darkness. Students are also encouraged to take walks, and if they happen to misstep on a time machine, they will find that the different councils and boards in this institution deal with stress so effectively that after a guaranteed two years, they will miraculously feel more relieved.
Writer’s Note: This piece is based on personal opinion, and although I firmly believe that UWCM students are never stressed because of the supportive mental wellbeing program, I am always open to having a conversation. If you have any feedback about my article, I would be glad to receive it and take a careful look at it during my short break, to then send you an automated message to thank you for your feedback. If your feedback is criticism though, please know that this conversation is finished, and you will receive my out-of-office-until-May-2023 message instead.