Many students have had a turbulent year juggling college, the pandemic and more. The transition from quarantine back to semi-normal life has been especially hard on student’s mental health.
For better or for worse, students expressed how they were affected by this sudden change.
Many students shared how drastic and abnormal last year was and how COVID-19 took an immense toll on their mental health.
“After moving into the dorms last year, my mental health was declining just because there wasn't much interaction with anyone else, and it was tough to be by myself all of the time,” Mallory Kuhns said, a sophomore studying psychology.
COVID-19 has also amplified a lot of mental health disorders.
“It has really made me struggle with social anxiety and also a lot of eating disorders because I had a lot of time to think, and sometimes too much isn't good,” Kylie Quastad said, a sophomore majoring in event management.
During complete isolation last year, many students were not able to see and meet other people and they noted that it was tough making new friends.
Even this year, a lot of students are still getting used to being back in person. This has made it difficult to get back into the flow of daily life and the accompanying social interaction.
“Adjusting after COVID kind of feels like re-learning how to go to school because, you know, you have to figure out your rhythm going to classes,” Claire Habel said, a sophomore studying animal science.
Some students felt that the transition from an atypical school year to a completely normal school year was burdensome.
“The expectation of us adapting to a normal environment after experiencing COVID-19 is a lot to ask of students. The transition hasn’t been easy,” Quastad said.
Although it has been hard for many, this year has also brought people a relief from isolation.
“My mental health has been at a constant pace lately," Quastad. "I feel as if I’m starting to come out of a slump, which is great, but it took a solid year and a half to see some improvements after COVID.”
Students also mentioned that being able to make friends now that they are not quarantined from one another has helped to improve their mental health.
“The start of my freshman year was during COVID," Habel said. "I was at an all time low. Just being able to go to classes and meet more people has helped me get a lot better.”
In time, students have found ways to adapt to this new way of life since COVID-19.
“I feel like my mental health has gotten better than it was in the first few weeks,” Caden Schram said, a freshman majoring in mechanical engineering. “I think this is due to being adjusted to dorm life and having a solid community of friends.”