In March 2020, all educational institutions in different parts of the world closed down for probably the first time in history. The devastating effects of the Coronavirus Pandemic meant that schools, colleges, and universities closed all on-campus physical activities and asked everyone to shift to an online model of learning.
While a lot has been documented about the struggles and challenges of shifting to an online model of education, not a lot has been written about what happened once the world went back to normalcy. In other words, what were the challenges that students faced when they returned back to campus and started coping with a normal model of education?
In this article, we are going to list seven challenges that were faced by college students in the post-pandemic period. If you are a parent, educator, or even an administrator, reading this article will help you understand the mental and physical nature of the problems and challenges that most students face.
List of 7 Major Challenges Faced by College Students in the Post-Pandemic Period
The pandemic, in many ways, broke the bond between students and teachers. Yes, you would continue to see your teacher on your iPad or laptop, but it did not have the same type of impact as when you would meet and engage with them in a physical classroom manner.
Everyone says that online learning was a resounding success. However, that would be far from the truth. Sure, online learning was able to help in multiple ways, yet it is no substitute for normal classes that used to happen.
In the following section, we are going to list down seven major challenges faced by college students in the post-pandemic period-
- The Fear of the Pandemic still lingers on-
There is no denying the fact that the pandemic was a once-in-a-lifetime kind of event. Students still recall how everything shut down overnight. They also remember how dorm rooms were infected, and everyone was either in their rooms or at the infirmary. Additionally, almost everyone ended up losing someone they loved. This led to trauma. Even when the educational institutions reopened, the fear around the pandemic still lingered on.
- Frequent opening and shutting down when cases were reported-
It was not as though the opening of the institutions was a stable process. The new variants of the Coronavirus ensured that every time a new case was reported, students and institutions once again went into lockdown mode.
The frequent back and forth between opening and closing wreaked havoc in the minds of the students. They found it very difficult to keep adjusting to the demands of the times. This ended up affecting their studies a lot.
- Mental anxiety and depression became part and parcel of everyday life-
It is tough to concentrate on your studies, assignments, and tests when someone close to you is battling for their lives in the hospital. Given the difficult times, you are expected to submit assignments on time, or else you will be graded poorly.
This is when a lot of students turned to custom writing services to help them with their essays, assignments, tutorials, and other submissions. This was only natural, given the prevailing condition that existed all around.
- Economic problems necessitated by the COVID-19 Pandemic-
Another major fallout of the pandemic was the financial troubles that millions of families and individuals faced during and after the pandemic. Many parents were unable to afford school and college fees since they were laid off or their businesses shut down.
Students who worked part-time to sustain themselves also found themselves without any income stream. This created a lot of pressure on the students and their families. This problem continues till today.
- Peer pressure and distraction during the pandemic continued after the reopening-
If you have been reading the news, you will be aware of how the pandemic led to an increase in the consumption of banned substances. In other words, a lot of students turned to drugs and alcohol to help themselves cope with the problems of the pandemic.
With a lot of free time on their hands, peer pressure played a role in fostering dependency. The sale of drugs and other psychotropic substances picked up. This affected students both physically as well as mentally.
- Dependence on technology became lesser once physical classes started taking place-
Online classes were characterized by the increasing use of technology. From online video and meeting platforms to online references, students were aggressively using technology and the internet for their day-to-day studies.
While the opening of schools and colleges in the post-pandemic period still saw students use technology, the nature and usage of the same were expected to come down significantly. Frequent changes did students no good in institutions.
- Dropout rates in educational institutions went up after the pandemic-
One of the most disturbing statistics that have come to light, especially in developing and underdeveloped countries of the world, has been the drastic increase in dropout rates. Students in these countries had to shoulder the financial burden of their families.
Due to financial problems as well as other reasons, an increasing number of students dropped out of educational institutions. With many of them working jobs to sustain their families, it was tough for them to abandon an income stream and get back to their classes.
The Final Word
The psychological impacts of the pandemic on the minds of children are there for everyone to see. Many parents have reported behavioral problems in their children after the pandemic. This was natural given the stresses these young minds had been exposed to and experienced during and after the pandemic. The effects of the pandemic have left a lasting impression.
It is time that educators and administrators in educational institutions realize and acknowledge the emotional and psychological effects of the pandemic on children. Through regular counseling sessions, an attempt should be made to ensure that students are psychologically helped. This is something that will take a lot of time, and patience needs to be exercised.