High School in the Apocalypse

One might argue that out of everyone the most plagued with mental disparity and caught in the jaw of anxiety are high school students. According to a study I recently conducted, out of 25 participants over 71% noticed an increase in anxiety in the past 6 months.

One might suspect this to be caused purely by the fear of themselves or a loved one catching the coronavirus, but only half of participants reported majorly fearing getting sick with the virus. Most participants noted that their lack of social interaction has declined, increasing their anxiety. To further provide evidence, over half of participants are currently doing school remotely.

The same students who marked that they are currently fully remote also noticed an increased lack in social interaction and increase in anxiety. The students who moved to being fully in-person for schooling once given the option noticed a decrease in their anxiety once finally making the decision to stay fully in-person.

Of course, not every participant’s current increase has reportedly been caused by lack of social interaction. Most students who noticed an increase in fear of catching the virus rated their fear at 7/10 or 10/10.

All participants who noted an increase in anxiety also noted that their grades dropped severely once they first started using remote learning back in early April. Without the pass-fail, many reported having C’s or lower. The same participants who noted the dramatic decrease in their grades in remote-learning also noticed a major increase once they were given the option to go back to physically being in school.

Participants thoughts on how the school has been treating social-distancing and remote learning varied, but no matter their opinion many believed that the school could better handle the unique situation in a number of circumstances. Most participants noted that they’ve seen a large amount of students not wearing masks. There were also a large amount of complaints about teacher’s lack of interaction with fully remote students.

Half of participants felt they had a 50% chance or greater of getting infected with the coronavirus though recent studies show that only and under.

Nonetheless, no matter the circumstances, whether students are in-person or fully remote most have noticed an increase in anxiety, and have held onto the fear that them or a loved one could find themselves sick at some point with the virus.

Despite their-excuse my informal language- freaking crappy situation, some students gave some words of wisdom in their responses. Respondent 8 said they learned “to stay positive during these devastating times, and to focus on yourself and not others. Don’t let people close to you tell you what you should be doing, it’s your choice and your health that matters!” Respondent 7 said they hope “this stress will begin to help me improve as a person in the future.” Perhaps not everything in the midst of all this craziness has had a negative impacted on our high school students, and all we can hope is that they will only continue to find the positivity in this thunderstorm.

If you’d like to see other student responses to the survey, you can read them here at https://www.surveymonkey.com/results/SM-VBS78WN67/.

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