Stress in Students Worsen During Pandemic

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Sara Molina – Staff Writer

The mental health of college students has continuously been a concern.  With the introductions of COVID-19 pandemic, stress in U.S. students has increased profoundly.

A survey study created and conducted in Texas A&M University researched how the pandemic has affected student’s well-being.  Among the college students, 71% have reported an increase of stress and anxiety because of COVID-19.  Of this survey, 89% reported difficulty in concentration and 82% reported increase concern on academic performance.

“I hate to be stark, but I’m fearful that we will have lost a generation. We know that boomers were defined by the Vietnam War, millennials by 9/11 and the Great Recession, and Gen Z will be defined by the pandemic,” said Jesse Barbe, senior director for Young Invincibles.

Center for Disease Control understands how stressful a pandemic is and encourages the public to watch for warning signs of stress.  The consequences stress can often lead to changes in sleep and eating patterns, difficulty sleeping and concentrating, worsening of mental and chronic health, and fear of own health and loved ones.

The CDC reports higher rates of depression, anxiety, and thoughts of suicide since March.

With the stress that comes with being a student, COVID, and finals it becomes harder to focus on ones’ self.  Remember to practice self-care.  The American Psychological Association recommends the following:

  • Seek out social support, it can be as simple as turning on the webcam during class
  • Help others cope, let them know they’re not alone
  • Managing disappointment, important events aren’t happening this year but think how they can be honored
  • Limit media, be informed not overwhelmed
  • Focus on what you control, on your thoughts, feelings, and behavior

“The uncertainty about what comes next. Instead of worrying about our ambiguous future, focus on solving immediate problems,” American Psychological Association.