Counselors’ Take on Kindness Week


Mae King

Despite the rise in mental health issues due to the pandemic, Kindness Week reminds students that they are supported by staff members and peers.

Sydney Gaw, Staff Writer

Between Feb. 21-25, UHS hosted Kindness Week, a week dedicated to spreading kindness and positivity across campus. The event focused on giving students an outlet to share positive messages with each other while also touching on the greater impact of mental health on campus.

According to the UHS counseling staff, initiatives like Kindness Week are important for reminding students of the on-campus support system they have.

“I think it’s really great that our school puts on something to address kindness,” counselor Ms. Angelique Strausheim said. “[Kindness] is still a really big aspect of high school . . . and spreading the message of being kind and making people feel like they belong is great.”

The message of Kindness Week is one that prevails throughout the year, even though students may feel isolated at times. Despite the rise in mental health issues due to the pandemic, Kindness Week reminds students that they are supported by staff members and peers.

“I think initiatives like Kindness Week are beneficial for students as they allow students to connect on campus outside of their classes and help show students that there are peers and adults on campus who care for them and want them to feel special,” counselor Mr. Nate Schoch said. “It is important for students to think of how they can help their peers not just during these weeks, but all year round.”

In addition to spreading kindness to others, the counselors also stress the importance of prioritizing one’s own mental well-being.

“A lot of times we’re just so busy that we could benefit from a reminder to think of others, be kind, be welcoming,” counselor Ms. Hanna Addessi said. “At the same time, self care is also a very important part of being there for others. It’s really hard to take care of others if you’re not taking care of yourself and being kind to yourself first.”

According to Ms. Addessi, the key to maintaining good mental health is by having a balance between academics and other extracurricular activities. The counselors are no stranger to UHS’ competitive environment and they advise against the tendency of students to overbook their schedule with extracurriculars or AP classes.

“You have to keep in mind what’s best for you and how you can stay balanced,” Ms. Addessi said. “It’s hard to operate in a competitive environment like Uni’s, but knowing your capabilities and your limits—that’s what’s going to help you the most.”

In addition to the activities advertised during Kindness Week, students can continue to contribute to positivity on campus by visiting their counselors and staying connected with their peers.

“Connecting with their school counselor or campus groups like Hope Squad can be helpful,” Mr. Schoch said. “When there are similar types of events on campus, students should make sure to make them part of their day so they can offer support and kindness to others. That’s also something they can do any day of the week, not just when events are planned.”