The COVID-19 pandemic has affected every aspect of people’s lives, including students.
According to a KFF Tracking Poll that was conducted in mid-July, 53% of adults in the United States reported that their mental health has been negatively impacted due to worry and stress related to COVID-19.
Three Fullerton College students were interviewed, each discussing what their main concerns have been during the pandemic, what has helped them deal with their mental health, and whether or not they’ve received help from other students, professors, or Fullerton College themselves.
Manuel Pareja shared that his main concern during the pandemic has been his family, especially his parents. Ever since it was announced that COVID-19 impacts people of older age, his main concern became his parents. What has helped him through his trying time has been watching anime, exercising, and talking to one of his close friends.
He currently hasn’t received any help from students, professors, or Fullerton College.
Janine Marie stated that her main concern during this pandemic has been security, more specifically job security. She wondered about whether or not her job would be in jeopardy and how she would pay for her expenses such as rent, bills, and groceries.
She was furloughed from her job back in April and didn’t regain job stability until October. During this time, she learned how to be frugal and stretch her salary and savings.
Something that has helped with her mental health has been working out for 30 minutes a day and working on arts and crafts projects. During the pandemic, she lost focus on things like family and her passion for creating so she decided to jump right back into it.
Janine stated that it has been a rough eight months at home, even testing positive for COVID-19 in November. Her professors were a big help during this time and having Zoom made isolation a lot easier. She had classmates reach out to her and give her information on assignments and some even asked her if she needed help with groceries.
Another Fullerton College student, Taron Ortega, has been worried about self-loathing, isolation, and falling into a deep state of depression. She has always struggled with her mental health and she worries that the time spent away from her peers has negatively impacted her social abilities, which she’ll need for when remote learning transitions back into in-person classes. Academically, her main concern has been her lack of motivation due to no in-person meetings.
Things that have helped her deal with her mental health are daily meditations in the morning, a daily gratitude list, daily journaling, one-on-one remote therapy with her therapist, the gym, and daily one-hour walks.
She has received a tremendous amount of help from a classmate in one of her most challenging classes this semester, biology. She almost dropped this class at the beginning of the semester because she thought that the class would exceed her academic skills due to remote learning, but she is so glad that she didn’t.
While the Health Center is currently closed due to Covid-19, they list a multitude of mental health resources on their website which students can utilize if they need to.