Teens vs. Covid-19

Pandemic takes emotional toll on everyone, especially teens


Joy Robinson, Reporter

Covid-19 has been the root of problems for people of all ages. Teens have had to deal with the ever-changing school schedule.

Junior Victoria Craig has been an all virtual student since the beginning of the year. 

“I feel that online schooling is bringing a lot of stress to not only students, but teachers too,” Craig said.

Jen Davis, NAHS Lifesprings therapist, wants teens to know that stress is manageable even if it’s hard.

“Focusing on what you are doing well, what your strengths are, what you are grateful for and what is within your control make a huge difference in managing stress,” Davis said. “It is important to remind ourselves that we can not change what happened yesterday but we can control what we do today and that is what will improve our lives in the future.”

Many students are feeling the strain of having to be on the computer all day and dealing with all the problems school has but dealing with it at home, according to Inside Higher Ed.

With different schedule changes and students having WiFi issues or no internet at all so it’s complicated for students to get their work done and turned in,” Craig said.

Freshman Tyliyah Wickliffe just switched to virtual for the better health of her family; she says she is feeling the effect of  this strange school year and is nervous to see what is to come.

With this abnormal school year, I expect myself to try and stay focused and not give up,”  Wickliffe said. “I’m trying to treat it as normal as possible, keep my grades up and work to the best of my ability. I’m trying my hardest no matter what happens.”

The nation’s suicide rate reached historic highs prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, with rates at the highest levels since World War II, according to Roll Call.

I think the suicide rates have gone up because life is repetitive for most of us and that gets depressing over time and some kids can’t leave the house because they are all virtual and it makes us feel all alone, life just isn’t normal right now,” Wickliffe said. 

“Suicide rates  have risen because when we were in lockdown we were stuck in the house for all hours of the day,” Craig said.

Davis says that online learning has been negative on the mental health of teens today.

“Online learning means more time alone which research has shown to be very detrimental to mental health and puts individuals at higher risk of developing mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety,” Davis said. “Kids who previously had mental health issues have noticed symptoms getting worse as they continue to have online learning.”

With Covid-19 students had to depend on themselves to do everything they wanted because they were alone more often. Davis says that students are finding it hard to be on the computer all day and they are more likely to be distracted.

“One thing that makes online school hard for me is I’m home alone all day so I don’t have anyone to keep me awake or staying focused,” Craig said. 

“Many students do not have family members at home who can offer support or ensure they are attending virtually which has made it very difficult for some kids to be disciplined enough to do it on their own,” Davis said.

Robert Barrow, a Prosser construction student, switched to all virtual because he felt like it was the right decision for him and his family. 

“I just think it’s the fact that you have to keep up with everything on your own. Keeping yourself focused on the task in front of you,” Barrow said.

Even though people may be all alone, many have been spending a lot more time with their family because of being forced to stay home and many people have developed new habits.

“As a family we just started laughing with each other or just watching movies,” Barrow said.  

For some students, staying at home isn’t the right decision because for some school is less stressful than home but with Covid-19 they are forced to be at home. 

“School might be their only escape and if they aren’t going to every other day or at all they can’t escape the toxicity,” Craig said. “Some of the students live in very toxic homes and struggle day to day with their family.”

For some people, going to school was their only option, even if it wasn’t the right thing for their family. 

“The exception has been kids who need to come to the building for learning but have high risk family members at home,” Davis said. “In situations like this I have seen an increase in anxiety symptoms which is understandable.”

Students are not the only people who are dealing with the stress of switching from traditional school to online school, teachers are also dealing with almost the same amount of stress. The good thing for teachers is that behavior problems have decreased which lead for teachers being less stressed about managing the classroom according to Davis.

“Teachers have had an increase in expectations to upload school work, communicate with students via email, and accurately chart attendance,” Davis said. “This has added to what teachers were already expected to manage in the classroom.”

While virtual learning may not be ideal for students, parents or teachers, the positivity rate in Floyd County is increasing and forcing students out of in-person classes.