The Mental Health Impact of COVID-19

Story posted March 18, 2021 in News, CommRadio by Olivia Manfredo

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.- COVID-19 has affected the daily lives of many individuals, and it has made an even stronger impact on students' mental health.

For Penn State students, this is the case as well, as their lives have been altered drastically. The ability for less social interaction, bottling up their thoughts more and feeling isolated and lonely are all themes of occurrence due to the pandemic.

Though unconventional, students are exceeding its will to thrive no matter the circumstances. Jessica Cook, a junior, film production major has had her mental health impacted by COVID but is trying to stay optimistic.

“COVID-19 has definitely affected my mental health, so for this past year I have been journaling a lot, exercising, and getting enough sleep so I won't go down the rabbit hole,” Cook said.

Students are provided with resources at Penn State to help them have a deeper understanding of their difficulties and methods to enhance them.

Programs including Counseling and Psychological Services, also known as CAPS, works diligently one-on-one with students’ short term to ensure they never feel alone and are given strategies and plans for actions to help with long term improvement.

Aside from CAPS, students receive help in ways personalized to themselves to work against all odds to remain the best versions of them.

A sophomore Jodi Norton, telecommunications major, adds her insight on how she has worked on improving her mental health to keep achieving her goals.

“My mental health has not been perfect over this period of time, but you have to make the best out of a bad situation,” Norton said. “No one wants to spend their college years dealing with a pandemic, but you have to remember your peers are going through the same thing, so you are not alone in the experience. Something that's helped me a lot is making sure I go on an hour to hour-and-a-half walk everyday just to go out in the sun and feel the fresh air.”

COVID-19 has affected students' mental health but this does not mean it stops them from being determined and diligent to work even harder to overcome how they may be feeling.

Olivia Manfredo is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, email onm5039@psu.edu.