When the COVID-19 pandemic forced students to move out of the residence halls abruptly, they left behind more than what didn’t fit within their suitcase. Many of them also left behind the routine of campus life, support systems, relationships, and other factors that supported their mental health. In fact, when Active Minds asked more than 2,000 college students how the pandemic had affected their mental health, 80% said it had negatively impacted them and 20% said their mental health was “significantly” worse.
When those same students return to the residence halls – not to mention the incoming first-year students who had the end of their high school careers cut off – many of those same feelings will remain. It will be up to campuses, including the housing staff, to help students navigate their way back to anything close to normal. Among the issues reported by students were stress, disappointment, loneliness, financial setbacks, and relocation.
Fortunately, the survey also showed some promising news, in that 79% said that they “feel hopeful about achieving their school-related goals and their future job prospects.” In addition, those students also had practical advice for ways campus administrators can help, mostly aligned with flexibility and empathy. Steps that students desired include the following:
are a number of other similar findings. TimelyMD, a telehealth company that works with
higher education, reported that 85% of more than 500 survey respondents said
the pandemic has caused them greater stress and anxiety, and 60% had
difficulties with remote learning. In addition, housing developer Core Spaces found
that, of nearly 2,500 college students throughout the United States, 75% said
they feel more anxious or stressed, yet 89% want to return to campus in the