The Pandemic’s Effect on Mental Health

Maribel Romero, Contributor

As COVID gets worse, the world is enforcing more lockdowns and curfews. California’s new curfew reduces the time to hang out with friends and family. JMIR Publication had sit-down interviews with college students and how they are doing during this difficult time. Based on the data was collected, 86% of college students are having servers sleeping disruptions, and 86% of college students have increased social isolation. The CDC also states that many people have been diagnosed with anxiety and depression.

Personally, my sleeping patterns have been off ever since the pandemic started. Knowing that I am going to be at home all day, I never felt forced to go to sleep early or wake up early, so I started going to sleep later and waking up later.

During the pandemic, many students have faced the difficulties of talking to their friends and even family. Schools have increased their workload which is many people’s main stressor. There are multiple posts on social media regarding students feeling stressed, like they have no outside life, and that they are only doing their work because there is a deadline.

This should translate to teachers being hyper-aware of students’ lives outside of school. They should give them the empathy they need.

Students should focus on what they are planning on doing when COVID is over and be resilient through these hard times.

Parris Bates ’22 shared that she has not been sleeping much since the pandemic. Parris gets at most 5 hours of sleep and is finding it harder to stay awake in later classes. Before the pandemic, the school wasn’t very hard for her. She could get her work done and can focus better in classes. Now, she is stressed because of the expectation to do everything from home where there are limitless distractions that are impossible to avoid. There have been multiple times where an assignment (a big one) has gotten too much for her and she decided to respect her mental health and what she needs by refusing to give all her time and energy to the one assignment.

The pandemic has taken a significant toll on many students’ mental health. As we approach almost a full year in quarantine, teachers must adjust and students must take sufficient time for themselves.