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How the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the lives of young adults and students.
-socially, mentally, physically, emotionally, etc.
EXAMPLE: (APA 6th Edition) Edith Turner once observed during field research on the ritual of pilgrimages among the Ndembu culture that these rituals are “identified as authentic manifestations of ritual in Western societies” (Turner and Blodgett 1992:18).
During the Covid-19 pandemic, most governments made it a priority to preserve their citizens’ lives by closing their borders and establishing enforced confinements, which eventually impacted the education systems (Aristovnik et al., 2020). Nonetheless, most countries worldwide have opted to temporarily stop their social and economic activities, especially in the cultural and education sectors, so that the health systems cannot be overburdened. This paper aims to assess how the Covid-19 pandemic has influenced students and young adults’ lives socially, physically, mentally, and emotionally.
In young adults, losing the regular daily routine that they were used to as well as limited physical and social contact with others (this includes social distancing measures) leads to several negative emotions such as boredom, frustration, anger, confusion, anxiety, and so on (Lindberg et al., 2020). The Covid-19 crisis and the subsequent closure of universities and other higher education institutions have presented most students with an unfamiliar situation. Before the closure period, they lived in environments with different circumstances and had alternative options to maintain their everyday social life (Alonzi et al., 2020). Students and young adults are currently highly vulnerable to social isolation and mental health disorders; in the case of students, if they live by themselves, the situation is made even worse (Dumas et al., 2020).
Owens et al. (2020) add that school closures due to the impact of Covid-19 have increased students’ likeability to experience intense trauma and additional anxiety and stress. This is because many young adults are potentially confined to unsafe and unsuitable housing. Furthermore, since the parents are also forced to contain themselves and go to work at the same time, a toxic family environment will be worsened by this, and the young adults are forced to face the consequences (Pierce et al., 2020). In such a scenario, the psychological effects of Covid-19 on young adults become more likely compared to adults because they are more susceptible to the negative impact of stress. Such psychological effects are due to the lack of motivation from peer groups that makes it increasingly challenging to adhere to home isolation. Therefore, the psychological impact of Covid-19 on young adults and students should be a matter of concern during and after the outbreak.
According to Zheng et al. (2020), the Covid-19 outbreak should be considered an uncontrollable and acute stressor that has a crucial impact on an individual’s mental health. However, there is still limited information about how young adults cope with these kinds of stressors (the Covid-19 pandemic). Nonetheless, it should be noted that young adults and students’ psychological outcomes during the pandemic are influenced by its resilience (Hasan & Bao, 2020). The context of resilience means establishing positive mental health despite stress (Hasan & Bao, 2020). High degrees of resilience offer protection from different mental health conditions. For example, high resilience in young adults and students is linked to reduced anxiety, stress, and depression.
The covid-19 pandemic has significantly affected young adults and students’ emotional well-being, either indirectly relating to the social and economic consequences or directly relating to health issues (Ammar et al., 2020). Students are not considered an endangered group when it comes to the pandemic concerning physical health factors. Nonetheless, most of them have experienced intense psychological pressure, majorly because of the pandemic’s impacts on their daily lives, the economic consequences, and the postponement of academic activities (Firang, 2020).
Aristovnik et al. (2020) found that there were high levels of negative emotions in young adults and students and low positive emotions as well, which indicated that the pandemic, along with the measures applied by governments, have unusually long and short – term impacts on the mental health of young adults and education. Lindberg et al. (2020) assert that lockdown situations have led young adults to develop conflicting emotions from being scared, lonely, sad, and angry; at the same time, they feel safe, happy, and calm when they are with their families. Seemingly, governments need to consider young adults as they manage the covid-19 situation by placing more emphasis on the inclusive and social policies to assist in alleviating future effects which may suffer due to the lockdown and the pandemic.
Covid-19 has led students to develop worries or concerns regarding their professional careers because of how much further their education calendar has been pushed forward. Besides, some students were engaged in leisure activities that elevated their self-esteem and self-awareness. The separation from these activities has affected their physical state because they cannot keep up with the necessary exercises to excel (Alonzi et al., 2020). Such impacts will have severe consequences once they resume their school period or even beyond. Therefore, disruption of their regular routines presents a significant impact on their educational outcomes. Evidence shows that stress usually has a strong negative effect on memory and mental ability; hence, the effect of school closures as a result of Covid-19 is unlikely to be different (Dumas et al., 2020).
It should also be noted that some psychosocial impacts may differ depending on the students’ or young adults’ age for those with prior mental problems of learning-assistance needs (Owens et al., 2020). Hence, it is vital to assess any additional stresses that students like these and others face so that specific programs can be introduced to solve them.
Closure of schools due to the Covid-19 pandemic does not affect all students and young adults equally; this is evident in various studies that have shown a disproportionate effect on girls (Pierce et al., 2020). School is usually perceived as a haven by students, especially if they live in difficult home situations. In particular, girls are at risk of sexual violence and reproductive health-related issues during school closure. For instance, since the Covid-19 pandemic started, there has been a rise in teenage pregnancies, and at the same time, most pregnant girls may refuse to enroll in school once the school year begins (Zheng et al., 2020).
Additionally, all over the world, young female adults encompass most individuals who perform house chores compared to their male counterparts (Hasan & Bao, 2020). Therefore, the lockdown enforced as a result of the pandemic has forced them to stay home, and the number of chores they usually do have increased significantly, and this has left them with limited time as compared to the males who are typically focused on academic homework (Hasan & Bao, 2020). As a result, young female adults are being pushed to stop school because the pandemic’s lockdown may have influenced them to perceive that their daughters do not need to go to school.
To control the potential loss of learning by students, adaptable and agile methods have had to be applied to deal with the crisis effectively. For instance, in most countries, school closures have been aligned with a transition into remote learning and teaching (Ammar et al., 2020). In most cases, educational technologies have been applied. This has necessitated experimentation, reliance on strong pre-existing networks within communities, and appropriate adaptation to particular contexts of individual students and communities. As a result, students have been forced to embrace virtual learning, which has impacted their ability to grasp information. For instance, some students find it hard to concentrate during virtual classes and examinations, and as a result, they have experienced intense stress on how to cope with the new way of learning.
Some young adults may have ignored seeking health care because of lockdown policies and may keep doing this because they fear contracting the Covid-19 virus (Firang, 2020). This sometimes includes skipping regular health check-ups and tests like the ones done yearly, which can help them identify health issues before they begin. Also, the closure of institutes for higher learning has affected many young adults’ ability to receive their routine health care services. Nonetheless, several telehealth modalities currently allow mental and physical healthcare providers to relate with patients and provide remote care (Aristovnik et al., 2020).
Many students have developed issues due to social distancing rules because they feel as if their lives have been placed on hold. This often prompts them to create the need to participate in form social gatherings to feel as if they are still expected (Lindberg et al., 2020). Simultaneously, the personal finances of young adults have been affected because of lost wages and job loss. According to Alonzi et al. (2020), economic insecurity is subsequently linked to adverse health outcomes and academic achievement. Such adverse effects and unexpected university or college closures may influence the students’ and young adults’ ability to continuously access healthy foods, quality housing, and safe transportation. Increased economic stressors may increase their exposure to violence. The lockdown restrictions have also led some young adults to become significantly exposed to intimate partner violence with the probability of fewer opportunities to seek social support and help (Zheng et al., 2020). Therefore, parents need to cultivate trustworthy relationships, and establish open communication with students and young adults while examining their behavioral changes, showing signs of distress.
The covid-19 pandemic has increased the cohabitation rate among young adults as this is used as an alternative for marriage. The number of young female adults between 25 to 34 years old living with their partners has increased since the crisis began (Zheng et al., 2020). Before the pandemic, cohabiting relationships, especially in the United States, were shot because many young couples broke up or were not ready to get married. The increase of cohabiting relationships is due to the social distancing measures which have fast-tracked most young adult relationships because they are often forced to choose between moving in together or living separately for an indefinite period (Ammar et al., 2020). Alternately, other young couples may decide to delay cohabiting until the economic prospects improve.
Young adults were seeking homeownership before the pandemic began, but due to the social distancing rules, this has become challenging (Zheng et al., 2020). At the same time, the Covid-19 virus seems to have had a long-term effect on house ownership. Many young adults have been laid off temporarily or permanently, limiting their source of funding to purchase a house. According to Duma (2020), the rate of homeownership among young adults reduced along with the subprime mortgage crisis. Therefore, the economic breakdown as a result of the pandemic has significantly affected the plans of young adults. As a result, the financial status of the country has also been affected considerably.
The pandemic has reduced the rate of marriages, which has led to a rise of young adults (specifically men) going back to their parental homes (Dumas et al., 2020). It has been revealed that the rate of young adults returning to their parents has doubled during the pandemic owing to the financial challenges that they are experiencing. This often happened once they lost their jobs or the closure of schools. Statistics show that 22 percent of young men currently live with their parents, compared to 15 percent of women (Zheng et al., 2020). This percentage only includes young adults living alone and were driven to go back home based on the economic impact the pandemic had on them.
In conclusion, Covid-19 pandemic has affected the lives of most students and young adults positively or negatively. In retrospect, this paper has offered meaningful insights into young adults’ lives and students’ perception and satisfaction of various life aspects during this pandemic. In other words, it has assessed how the Covid-19 pandemic has influenced the lives of students and young adults socially, physically, mentally, economically, and emotionally.
Alonzi, S., La Torre, A., & Silverstein, M. W. (2020). The psychological impact of preexisting mental and physical health conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Psychological trauma: theory, research, practice, and policy.
Ammar, A., Chtourou, H., Boukhris, O., Trabelsi, K., Masmoudi, L., Brach, M., … & Mueller, P. (2020). COVID-19 home confinement negatively impacts social participation and life satisfaction: a worldwide multicenter study. International journal of environmental research and public health, 17(17), 6237.
Aristovnik, A., Keržič, D., Ravšelj, D., Tomaževič, N., & Umek, L. (2020). Impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on life of higher education students: A global perspective. Sustainability, 12(20), 8438.
Dumas, T. M., Ellis, W., & Litt, D. M. (2020). What does adolescent substance use look like during the COVID-19 pandemic? Examining changes in frequency, social contexts, and pandemic-related predictors. Journal of Adolescent Health, 67(3), 354-361.
Firang, D. (2020). The impact of COVID-19 pandemic on international students in Canada. International Social Work, 63(6), 820-824.
Hasan, N., & Bao, Y. (2020). Impact of “e-Learning crack-up” perception on psychological distress among college students during COVID-19 pandemic: A mediating role of “fear of academic year loss”. Children and Youth Services Review, 118, 105355.
Lindberg, L. D., Bell, D. L., & Kantor, L. M. (2020). The Sexual and Reproductive Health of Adolescents and Young Adults During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health.
Owens, M. R., Brito-Silva, F., Kirkland, T., Moore, C. E., Davis, K. E., Patterson, M. A., … & Tucker, W. J. (2020). Prevalence and social determinants of food insecurity among college students during the COVID-19 pandemic. Nutrients, 12(9), 2515.
Pierce, M., Hope, H., Ford, T., Hatch, S., Hotopf, M., John, A., … & Abel, K. M. (2020). Mental health before and during the COVID-19 pandemic: a longitudinal probability sample survey of the UK population. The Lancet Psychiatry, 7(10), 883-892.
Zheng, C., Huang, W. Y., Sheridan, S., Sit, C. H. P., Chen, X. K., & Wong, S. H. S. (2020). COVID-19 pandemic brings a sedentary lifestyle in young adults: a cross-sectional and longitudinal study. International journal of environmental research and public health, 17(17), 6035.
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