COVID-19 depression among college students


Amid the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, educational settings across the country have been greatly impacted. Many students returned to campus this fall, only to be turned back home not too long after they arrived.

College students are trying to balance social distancing requirements, and it’s causing them to have a turbulent college experience. But the other big fight is with an invisible enemy: depression. 

According to a study that was taken by the Pharmacy Times, pandemic related actions such as switching to remote learning correlated with a rise in depression and anxiety rates among college students. 

To find out the impact of depression at Mercer University, I spoke with a variety of students. Many of them did not want to share their experiences with depression for privacy reasons. However, one student decided to open up about his experiences. 

 David, a junior at Mercer University, stated that the pandemic “definitely hurt [my] mental health over the summer.”  He also explained to me that the pandemic “continues to be a source of stress” for him due to its seemingly endless course.

“Not knowing when it will end or what’s the full impact of the virus is unsettling.” He said.

Just as the nationally collected COVID-19 statistics confirm, David said his mental health was impacted by isolation.

“The inability to interact with people, especially over the summer definitely gave me anxiety.” He said.

Even before the pandemic, statistics have shown that a number of college students historically struggle with mental health issues.

According to a survey conducted by the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 50 percent of college students have “struggled greatly from anxiety and as a result have struggled in school.” 

Another figure from the same study says that 50 percent “of students have rated their mental health below average or poor.” 

Those statistics were taken before the pandemic and only measure the general mental state of college students. 

As for David, he reports that his experience at Mercer has been in flux, but that he’s happy classes have started again.

“My mental health has been a lot better since the return of classes and the return of a schedule.” He said.  

Many students are certainly hoping to escape from this “new normal” and return to life before the pandemic.