Mental health on their minds: Students reflect on changes to mental health in the pandemic



A survey of 55 students from Apr. 6 to Apr. 13

Nina Kolodchak

As quarantine continues, mental health issues also continue to rise. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit that focuses on mental health, about 53% of adults in the United States have reported that COVID-19 has had a negative impact on their mental health due to elevated levels of stress and difficulty communicating with others.

Sophomore Amanda Riordan of Manasquan said that she resonates with this and although the pandemic has given her more time to manage and ponder her feelings, it has also negatively impacted her mental health.

“My mental health has worsened a lot due to restrictions placed on day- to-day life,” Riordan said. “I miss being able to see all of my friends in school every day, I miss clubs and I miss being able to have fun in class without breaking COVID restrictions. There are so many things in life that I cannot do because of COVID, and it makes me sad.”

Fortunately, others have found that continuing their academic careers during COVID-19 has affected them in a positive manner.

Sophomore Liam Perez of Middletown believes that hybrid learning has kept him connected to his community during these periods of uncertainty.

“School during the pandemic is a huge boon for my mental health,” Perez said. “It gives me something to do all day and facilitates interaction with my peers. In addition, the workload has been more manageable since the pandemic began, which has also helped.”

Additionally, Junior Francesca Santaniello of Tinton Falls believes that CHS teachers are making it easier for students to navigate through their ever-changing lifestyles.

“I think that my teachers have been really, really accommodating,” Santaniello said. “They’re always willing to help in whatever way they can, and students need that, especially in times like these. I really appreciate how they go out of their way to be kind.”

In spite of these difficult circumstances, Sophomore Jess Skolnick of Hazlet believes that the pandemic has taught her an indispensable lesson.

“I really think that COVID-19 has taught me to appreciate what I have,” Skolnick said. “Now I have realized that you never know when it will all be gone. I take in every moment I spend with my friends and the people I care about and I’m living in the now.”