The Pandemic’s Toll on Our Mental Health

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Solitude and depression from social distancing, isolated stay home alone in COVID-19 coronavirus crisis, anxiety from virus infection, Sad unhappy depressed girl sit alone with virus pathogens

Kendall Dexter, Staff Writer

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed life for so many people, and from the perspective of a student, I can say that it is no different. Schools are now remote or hybrid, and extracurricular activities are being run in ways that we would have never thought possible. Assignments and online classes can be hard to manage and feel overwhelming, social interactions are no longer enjoyable, and families are exhausted, leaving little to no time to enjoy each other’s company. These impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are overwhelming. It can be reasoned that due to the Coronavirus the lives of students are completely turned upside down. 

Many teenagers agree that this pandemic has changed their mental health. Back in June 2020, a survey was taken by 3,300 students in Washington. An article analyzing the results of this survey on the America’s Promise website states that 52% of students were most concerned about the physical and mental health of themselves and their loved ones, 39% were most concerned about their education, and 30% were most concerned about having their basic needs met. These percentages demonstrate that there are a number of things that students worry about while living through this pandemic as well as the fact that students worry not only about themselves, but also about their families. Another statistic explains that 1 in 4 students have reported an increased loss of sleep due to depression, worry, and feeling under strain constantly. It may not be apparent enough that teens worry about all of these issues, however the information stated above makes it clear that this pandemic is stressful for students all over the United States, and it is greatly impacting their mental health. 

Not only has COVID-19 impacted the mental health of students, but it has also affected our social lives. As a freshman in high school this year, I can say that it is extremely hard for me to interact with new people. Referencing the America’s Promise article again, the survey showed that 29% of students did not feel connected to teachers, 23% did not feel connected to their classmates, and 22% were not feeling connected to their community. Interaction is extremely important for young people. I can say from personal experience that not being able to interact with friends has impacted my mental health. For a lot of teens, spending time with others gives them a place to have fun and relax. Without this outlet, it is hard to stay motivated to complete online assignments. Although the social life of students may not seem important in a world full of chaos, It is a huge problem for teens that is making life right now that much more of a challenge. 

When considering the lives of students in the COVID-19 pandemic, it needs to be acknowledged that we are going through just as hard of a time as everyone else. Our mental health and social lives being the most impacted. It needs to be made a priority for everyone to work as hard as they can to end this pandemic and allow life to resume as we once knew it. With that being said, wear a mask and do your part. We will all overcome this eventually. 

 

 

“National Survey of High School Students During COVID-19” 12 Jun. 2020, https://www.americaspromise.org/press-release/national-survey-high-school-students-during-covid-19-finds-widespread-negative-impact. Accessed 28 Oct. 2020.