By J.A. Aleman
Students have had their share of mental ups and downs during quarantine, and though some saw the lockdown optimistically others weren’t so sure how to feel.
Having an extrovert or introvert personality had an impact on the mental stability of students as they managed schedules, family, friends, work and solitude.
“It’s a rollercoaster, where it kind of depends on what I am thinking about,” said Zakariah Swanson ASPCP president of Puyallup student life. “If I can look at the silver lining or not.”
College life is never really stress free even for the “best” student. There are students that are faced with more than just the usual issues and have added strain due to already having underlying mental health concerns.
“Every day felt like bricks on my chest, the amount of stress I felt,” said Vanessa Garcia, student engagement coordinator.
Garcia was candid and revealed she has Asperger’s Syndrome and told of the difficulty she was faced with during the pandemic. She also said her favorite part about the quarantine was getting to wear sweatpants for events.
Some students looked at what was lost but also looked at what could be gained. Still the longer it went on the more tiring and the less motivated students were to put up with the status quo.
“The pandemic amplified my mental health,” said Nathan Haueter, student organizations coordinator. “When I was doing really good it made it even better and when I was doing bad it made it worse.”
Finding a solution to manage the highs and lows of mental health seems to rely on relationships and being around people for the motivation to do good. Not having the usual net of people around has made the pandemic more difficult for some students while others were able to stay motivated.
“Celebrate small victories,” said Madison Rannow, vice president of student organizations, commenting on what she would likely tell her past self before the pandemic.
Looking back, many students will have learned many different lessons through diverse struggles, each as hard in its own way as the other. The world turned small for students, both foreign and domestic and all the possibilities that once were within reach were somehow taken and placed a little further out of reach.
Equity Diversity and Inclusion Senator Jessica Xu, finds having an adaptive mentality to be beneficial. Being an international student who has not been able to go home in over a year has built frustration, especially not being able to have family around as a support system.
For some students, the pandemic felt easy at first but harder as it went on. Time out of school kept expanding and became more strenuous. Along the way most students learned to not be hard on themselves and found a way to thrive in the midst of this moment in history.
“I got used to it and got into a system where my mental health is not based on the circumstances, but on what I decide it to be,” said Karen Nunex-Michel, vice president of activities board.
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