Students Take Toll of Things Lost in Pandemic


The American Psychological Association provides different ways to maintain a positive and healthy mindset during social distancing.

The COVID-19 outbreak has resulted in a worldwide halt of normalcy. People are confined to their homes, only allowed to leave to shop for essentials. Some states are requiring people to wear face coverings at all times when outside of their homes. While some parents work from home, young people are navigating virtual school. This has become the new normal. 

But for high school students in particular, whose entire lives revolve around school, change has been particularly difficult. From prom plans to graduation and sports seasons, the list of things lost due to stay-at-home orders is growing every day, and high school students are continuing to feel it. 

This lacrosse season was the first for junior Idris Yahaya. “Even though I understand why spring sports were cancelled,” he says,  “it still hurts knowing I won’t get to play with my senior teammates.”

Important academic tests such as the ACT, SAT, and AP exams have also undergone changes. “It’s concerning because I don’t feel very prepared for my AP tests. Distance learning makes the actual learning difficult,” says Wilde Lake junior Ekim Davis, a student preparing for these exams. 

For students in the junior class, there are concerns about information regarding college applications. This is information that they would have received from their guidance counselors this spring semester. Junior Brian Ihe-Jurobi explains his worries as an incoming senior applying to colleges in the coming fall. “My main concern is the availability of scholarships. The competition is already very high, and an increased amount of students will be looking to apply, especially during these times.”

With the introduction of virtual distance learning, many students feel that it has taken an overwhelming toll on their mental health. Junior Vaniya Khan feels the weight of not being able to be around people she was used to seeing everyday. “Seeing my friends at school would make my day. It sucks because calling or texting them isn’t quite the same,” she says. 

During this stay-at-home order, those suffering from mental health issues are struggling with being constantly confined. According to research done by The Lancet, a news source regarding child and adolescent health, approximately 83% of young people suffering from mental health issues have felt their conditions worsen since the shutdown. Additional reasons for the decline in mental health include cancelled therapy sessions and college students worried about the job market they are to soon enter. 

With constant changes during this pandemic, it is increasingly difficult for people to focus on their responsibilities and families. While so much is uncertain, Vaniya Khan is certain of one thing. “Everyone has different circumstances, but it’s important to remember we are all feeling the effects of social distancing together,” she says. “It’s hard, but we should make the best of what we are grateful for.”