We all know that the past two years have been tough on almost everyone, businesses dying, people being unable to work, and everyone needing to social distance. Due to the lack of social interaction, there has been a rise in depression and anxiety especially in teens and young adults. Along with the social distancing mandate, students had to go to school online through zoom, adding more distractions during class and making it more tempting to cheat through classes. Different people had different experiences through quarantine while some found school easier, some also found it harder. I shared a form with some students from SJM to see exactly what their experience was like.
The main difficulty many students went through during online school was the number of distractions that were available to them at home.
One student said, “I found it easier to get distracted during class because of everything going on around my house, and having my phone so close to me made it easy to get lost in it. When we got back in person I didn’t really know what was going on.”
Because of the teacher’s limited vision of what the students were doing, they were given easy access to their phones and other devices that may have caused them to pay less attention, which caused problems when tests came around. When we started to return fully in person, some students did not have a very good understanding of the class compared to how they might have before the quarantine.
On the contrary, some students felt the opposite, that the environment was more calming and quiet, making it easier to work, and actually had a raise in their grades.
One student said, “My grades were actually better than ever, it was peaceful and quiet being at home. My grades were probably perfect because teachers are not as strict during online school.”
With students being free from distractions in the classroom such as noisy classmates, some found it easier to pay attention during class and their grades reflected that.
Not only did the quarantine affect school performance but also overall mental health. There has been an increase in anxiety and depression in mainly teens and young adults due to the isolation that we have gone through during the past year.
"Quarantine made me very anxious and bored because of how much I was in my house,” one student said.
In a poll conducted by the American Psychiatric Association, it was shown that 41% of Americans are more anxious than they were the year before the quarantine, as well as 53% increase of parents being concerned about the mental state of their children.
Arthur C. Evans Jr., Ph.D., chief executive officer for the American Psychological Association states, “as part of a national recovery plan, we will be dealing with the mental health fallout from this pandemic for years to come.” This increase in anxiety and depression is also very impactful to students because it could affect their motivation to get their work done, pay attention or study, further lowering their performance in class. This increase is a very big issue and is something that could affect, and most likely does affect, someone close to us.
In the end, quarantine affected people in different ways, some for the better and some for the worse. Due to the time away from school last year, a lot of students don’t feel as if they learned as much as they would have any other year and are needing to put in more effort now to catch up.