Students mental health impacted by pandemic
Sofia Rositani – Arts & Entertainment Editor
Since COVID-19 struck last spring semester, students have been slowly adapting to online courses, but according to the Director of Counseling Services Nick Pinkerton, there has been a significant increase in the amount of stress and anxiety this semester.
“As things continue to move forward, particularly when things reach some semblance of normal again, I think the demand for counseling will go up even more than what we were seeing prior to the pandemic, which is a steady rise in demand for counseling,” said Pinkerton.
He said there has been even more disengagement since the pandemic started. There have also been many students complaining about screen fatigue due to most classes online.
“I think what we are in right now is this ambiguous place of what’s going to happen next. I think people are concerned about their health and their safety, and that of their loved ones, because of COVID,” Pinkerton said.
He also said that there has also been some major anxiety about the upcoming election.
“I think it’s one of those things where it’s like we are still in this on-going crisis together, so it’s effecting people in different ways and folks are coming in for those reasons; but we are still in this thing together and we are still using the traditional coping strategies,” Pinkerton said.
According to Pinkerton, isolation has become an issue for students since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and because of the lack of socializing, he called this pandemic “an introverts dream.”
Following COVID-19, he said an increase in the usage of the app TikTok went up 300 percent, proving people were on their phones more.
“One in five of college students say their mental health has significantly worsened under COVID-19,” according to a survey of 2,086 students by Active Minds.
Psychology major Mackenzie Montesi, a freshman, said since she started college, her mental health has been the same. It has helped her figure out what she wants to do with life. Montesi also said she has not been enjoying online courses due to needing to be in a classroom setting.
“I think if there are more in-person classes, mental health will get better because you are communicating with people, and getting to see your friends, it just helps like getting out of your dorm,” Montesi said.
She also said she feels more isolated on campus, but goes home on the weekends to help her cope with her isolation.
For psychology major Jelise Nimmons, a junior, mental health has been getting worse since this semester started due to all her classes being online. Some of her courses are asynchronous, which means they do not meet virtually or in person. Instead, she gets work to do-making it harder for her.
“Worse I feel like for most of my classes I am teaching myself so that is kinda stressful,” Nimmons said.
She said she has been in her dorm room a lot more since coming back on campus, but she would not consider herself being isolated because she is seeing her friends and going to go to practice.
Photo credit: Abby Epstein