How did COVID-19 permanently affect high school students?

Mahika Gupta, Staff Writer

The Impact of COVID-19 on Mental Health

                                                                                    The period of time where humans change most is adolescence. It is when teenagers begin their journey to find themselves and who they want to be for the rest of their lives. As they grow into adults, though, there are some factors such as mental growth that are ever changing. 

The return of all students to mandatory in-person schooling has quickly revealed how much students’ mental health has changed. It has also revealed how differently their thought processes are from how they could have been had quarantine not happened. 

“Being alone was really hard for me because I was really closed off from the world, so I had to do a lot more to keep myself busy,” NVHS junior, Sophie Widloe says. “My mental health has definitely gotten worse, and I think I became a lot more aware of it over lockdown… But I would definitely prefer being aware over being in denial of what I need mentally.”

Widloe stated during the interview that the isolation of quarantine was something that she mainly struggled with due to the fact that she was in denial of her mental health, but that time with herself also gave her a lot of self-awareness. However, she is not completely sure if that is a good thing. As school has begun to come into full swing, she isn’t sure if she has the time to pay much attention to her health. 

Another NVHS junior, Jocelyn Vannoy, also agreed with Widloe’s sentiments. “I spent a lot of time coping with the isolation, but I think one good thing that came out of [quarantine] is that I was really able to focus on my self esteem,” she says. 

Like many others, her struggle with her self image was well investigated during quarantine, where she was able to spend her time on herself and the version of herself she wanted to present to others. 

The lessened workload of school during quarantine helped students to spend more time on activities revolving around themselves, such as coping activities, self care, art, etc., to help themselves mentally grow as much as possible. Despite their struggle with isolation during quarantine, many students like Widloe and Vannoy became very self aware of their mental health and themselves, which may not have happened if they had not had the time to focus on it. 

Had quarantine not happened, it is possible that students could still be in the mindset that they were in when COVID-19 had not occurred. Some students changed for the better, others for the worse, and some may not have changed at all, but the effect of COVID-19 has made an impact on their mentalities for years to come.