COVID-19 shutdown affects today’s mental health

Testing scores and grades depreciating


Rachel Keeler, Opinion Editor

   In March 2020, students in the nation were told that they were taking two weeks off of school due to an abundance of sickness. Most were excited to have a break from the stress of school. Then, almost everything was shut down for the rest of the school year.

   The start of the 2020-2021 school year involved hybrid learning, some in-person and others online. These differences in the school system changed how students learned and handled stress, including other school-related situations.

   Junior Jordynn Elayyan and Sophomore Mollie Robinson have dealt with increased anxiety since their seventh and eighth-grade years when schools began to shut down.

   “After COVID-19, I had a lot more anxiety because I was scared I wouldn’t be as intelligent as I was before. I went so long without structured learning. I no longer had any routine,” said Elayyan. 

  When schools were shut down, students were left to their own devices to learn. Students were not the most driven people due to a lack of structure, causing many to get behind when their motivational triggers ran out. Students have also been struggling with their attention span. 

   “My focus has completely shifted after we shut down,” said Robinson. “I can’t sit in one spot for very long, I have to bounce my leg or fidget with something.”

Since children had so much time off without structure and interaction, they tend not to have the patience or attention span to listen for long periods of time.  This caused spacing out and the inability to pay attention.

   “I stopped applying myself. All I wanted to do was go home.  It upsets me because, before COVID-19, I loved hanging out with my friends after school,” said Elayyan.

   Lack of interaction and face-to-face communication has hurt the relationships of friends. Many students no longer want to have fun with their peers. Instead, they want to go home to their rooms and isolate themselves completely. 

    When students do not apply themselves, it causes scores on tests and assignments to drop. When testing scores drop, grades drop. This creates a domino effect causing students to stress themselves out and shut down.

   COVID-19 has affected students mentally and emotionally.  What started as an exciting and easy break turned into the most mentally challenging time in several students’ lives. They could not socialize to grow, they could not communicate their issues face to face. Shutting down may have been the best idea for the country’s physical health, but the mental health of many has paid the price.