From the closing of universities, missed exams and graduations, to the toughest job market in decades and impacts on mental health; it’s fair to say that Covid-19 has had a profound effect on university students and people in higher education.
The 5 biggest impacts relating to students are as follows:
After the closure of University campuses in March following the accelerating outbreak of coronavirus across the UK, lectures, seminars and assessments were all moved online. Students have had to adapt to a new way of working, accessing content and keeping in contact with lecturers, course leaders and fellow students. Arguably, students will have had to be stricter with their studies as online learning provides much less structure in comparison to traditional, scheduled face-to-face lectures and seminars. In addition to this many students may have had to grapple with potential technical issues such as restricted access to content otherwise available within their university library and even the dreaded issue of rubbish wifi!
The infamous uni social life
Being in lockdown not only meant a loss in face-to-face learning, but also the social side of studying at university. Sports teams, societies and social events form an integral part of the university experience, with many final-year students missing out on their last ever term of fun!
For those starting university in September, it is safe to say freshers week is set to look extremely different to previous years. With clubs remaining closed and social distancing in place, its definitely going to be an alternative experience than the usual first weeks and months at university.
No graduations / celebrations
For those students who have just completed their degrees, Covid-19 meant the cancellation of all graduations. Many universities decided to host virtual ceremonies in place of traditional ones, but students have been left feeling deflated, sad and angry that they weren’t able to celebrate their achievements over the past 3 to 4 (or possibly more) years.
An extremely difficult job market
If switching to online learning, no final-term social life and no graduations weren’t enough, graduates face the toughest job market in decades. With job vacancies reportedly falling to the lowest level since 2001, competition for employment is greater than ever.
In addition to this, with around half of uni students working a part-time job alongside their studies, many now potentially face financial difficulties due to the closure of many industries over lockdown.
Huge impacts on mental health
With Covid-19 turning our world upside-down it is no surprise that many young people are experiencing additional problems with their mental health. Lockdown imposing restrictions on day-to-day life, left a great number of people feeling lonely or isolated. A survey carried out by Young Minds UK reported that 87% of respondents felt this way during lockdown; with 80% saying the effects of the pandemic had made their mental health worse.
What help is out there for students?
During these difficult, uncertain times it is important to remember there is a multitude of services offering support and guidance.
If you are unsure about your options going forward, visit our Developing a Student homepage to find out more information about all the opportunities available to you.
If you are looking for help and support on problems relating to financial difficulties, mental health or more, visit our page on Finding Help in Your Local Area.