NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

Survey shows students coping with a year of isolation, loneliness

The pandemic has caused a mass amount of change in a small amount of time. Some people may refer to the pandemic as unprecedented. The group that the pandemic has had the largest effect on is students. Kids went from seeing their teacher and friends everyday face to face to seeing people from their computer screen. That radical change isn’t good for kids and has affected them in many ways.  I put out a survey to my fellow peers at NECC, asking about how the pandemic has affected them personally.

The major effect of the pandemic on kids were the end of friendships, it’s not the same communicating with people virtually.

When asked on how they keep in touch with their friends virtually student Shaun Hood had this to say “I text my friends and we play video games together often. I also have Zoom meetings with teachers from my high school who I keep in touch with occasionally.”

During this pandemic the video game market has been booming. It’s a positive thing because it allows people to connect in a safe virtual way. When the other sources where asked they gave a similar answer saying either social media, text or call.

Not only has the pandemic influenced some people’s social life’s it also has changed people. It’s made people grow up and address the harsh reality of the world.  When asked on how the pandemic has changed them student Jocelyn Avila-Frias said this “I feel like the pandemic made me stronger in a way since I had to deal with a lot of loss, but it also made me find hope in other places to keep pushing forward.”

People aren’t going to be the same after this. The amount of stress and loss will defiantly make people stronger, but it will also have a huge negative effect on their mental health.

Besides the threat of imminent death due to the COVID- 19 virus, there is an unspoken threat, our own mental health. Isolation is scary and can feel hopeless. Not to mention how hard it is when going out, knowing that any of these people around you could have the virus.

When asked about the pandemic’s effect on their mental health student Faith Barret said “Yes, it has affected my mental health because the isolation really took a toll on me.”

As a follow up she was asked if she was taking any steps to fix her mental health she said “yes I am journaling and trying to limit my time on social media and sitting around”

Social media is a double edged sword during this time, because on one hand it allows people to stay in touch but on the other it furthers the sense of loneliness

Things aren’t too dim though. With the roll out of vaccines and more and more people becoming eligible for it.  because of that we will slowly be able to return to a new normal.

One of the things students are looking forward to is the potential reopening of NECC. When asked on what they thought about the potential reopening of school, student Katherine Townsend had this to say. “I prefer classes in person, but I’ve gotten so used to online that I’m kind of indifferent about it!”

A lot of people have been able to make the adjustment to working from home. Some people though prefer the classroom due to the sense of structure. Such as student Rachel who said “I work better in a classroom setting I would prefer classes.”

Things may seem bad right now, but the future looks bright. More and more people will be able to get the vaccine as the year goes on. If people wear the masks and follow the proper procedures, we will be out of this in no time. Currently if you are struggling with anything be it mental health or school work there are resources at NECC.

Feel free to look at their student services page at the following link.