Ms. Jones: Meet the Newest Member of the MHS Counselor Team

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Minnetonka Public Schools

Sara Pender, Staff Writer

Being a highschool student is difficult. While there are many outlets to search for help, it can be hard to find one that feels comfortable. Luckily, Minnetonka High School has a fantastic counseling department consisting of 24 wonderful counselors ready to help any student in need. Counselors help with a variety of things, from rearranging a schedule to providing emotional support for tough situations. This year, a new counselor was added to the team: Monica Jones

With COVID still a very real threat, Minnetonka has continued to put its students and staff first in order to keep everyone safe and healthy. It can be quite challenging trying to navigate the big changes happening in our lives during our high school years and, even more so, during this pandemic. Although it is a difficult circumstance to be in, the counselors are doing their very best to keep in constant contact with students. Fortunately, they have successfully adapted to a helpful online medium through which they’re able to aid students with the many challenges coming their way. 

Loneliness and sadness are emotions everyone has felt throughout quarantine. Getting through this upcoming winter amid the pandemic is going to be difficult for many people in all kinds of ways. These tips from Jones may help and might even boost optimism and, hopefully, happiness.

Jones recommended that “students…try something new that they’ve never done before: crafting (knitting, crochet), a virtual dance class (ballet/hip hop), Yoga (for exercise and relaxation), and get outside.” 

Everyone has heard that finding outlets to disrupt boredom and keep one entertained are the best way to cheer up. And if the activity doesn’t end up sticking, there are dozens more to try out. 

To maintain relationships, “keep in contact with your friends, schedule virtual game sessions like Among Us or House Party and turn your group video chat into a virtual game night,” Jones said. 

Although the pandemic has taken a toll on the amount of fun activities to do in-person with friends, there are great alternatives that are weather-friendly as well. Staying safe is of the utmost importance, so keep that in mind but continue to find ways to spend time with friends with masks, in-person, or digitally. 

“The best ways to stay healthy,” said Jones, “are to have a routine, wake up at a certain time to start your day, eat, hydrate, and have a designated work area.” 

These really are small-yet-mighty ways to keep the body and mind healthy. It is a stressful time for all, and everyone is going through the same highs and lows. Don’t be afraid to reach out to counselors or any other staff for support.The best ways to reach them are through a Schoology message or to schedule an appointment through Mr. Strom.

As a new faculty member to the high school this year, Jones said, “This school year I’ve been welcomed into a wonderful school and community with amazing students, and I look forward to many years to come. I’d like to remind students: Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” 

Jones and the counselors remain a steady resource that have been and will continue to be available for MHS students throughout their time here. As always, feel encouraged to reach out to one and try out one of the activities recommended. Who knows, maybe a new talent will emerge.