COVID-19 Adds More Stress for College Students

By Leslie Santillan 

COVID-19 has affected millions of people of all different ages, races, and socioeconomic backgrounds.  Although the amount of COVID-19 cases has significantly decreased, the stress levels in college students have increased. 

College students have to juggle the responsibilities of school, work, and family. However, these past few months they have also had to deal with a pandemic that forever changed the lives of many. In a blink of an eye, schools closed, and students had to continue their studies via online from March 2020 to May 2020. Some of the challenges that students faced were, not having a quiet environment to receive their class/do their homework and not having access to a computer or tablet. 

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 23.1 million people were unemployed in April 2020. Many college students lost their only source of income which added a great deal of stress to them. They had no source of income yet they still the responsibility of turning in their homework, essays, and doing well on exams. 

CUNY students began the fall semester on August 26. Some are returning students, some are transferring to a 4-year college, but some are coming into college fresh out of high school. This transition is difficult as it is, but this semester Lower Freshmen have to learn the ins and outs of college without actually being on campus due to the aftermath of COVID-19. 

Three difficulties with remote learning are managing time, being organized, and staying focused. More than ever these skills have become vital in order to do well in school. Many students find it difficult to stay focused on their lectures because it is really easy to be distracted by their phones. Everything is online which means it is the student’s responsibility to check for announcements from their professors as well as keeping up with due dates to assignments. Although learning online gives college students flexibility with their schedules, it is really easy to fall behind if you do not keep up with the work. 

For the college students that have children, these times are especially challenging. New York City Public schools are starting, but their intended approach is scattered. Parents were given the option of having their children learn only remotely or blended learning (in-person for two to three days a week and online the rest of the days). Despite given these two options, depending on the school, children are going to receive anywhere from thirty minutes to five hours of remote live classes each day. “[L]earning will look radically different for all New York City’s 1.1 million students this fall” said Eliza Shapiro of The New York Times. For many, this is a challenge because they have to work around their college, work, and children’s schedules. Some college students don’t have any other option than to send their children to school because they need to work. However, this is a difficult situation because parents have to worry about their children potentially getting sick with the new coronavirus. 

Already stressed-out college students are now dealing with the impact that COVID-19 has had on schools and jobs. Between the stress of college, work, and family, college students have very limited spare time to focus on themselves and distress. A buildup of stress is unhealthy and can lead to mental illnesses. Often times college students turn to smoking and alcohol when they are stressed but there are healthier and easier alternatives to destress such as meditating and exercising. Please see the following links to Apps and Websites that may help you alleviate stress. In addition, there is the link to the QCC Counseling Center as well as some hotlines listed below. 


QCC Counseling Center

Substance Abuse 

SAMHSA’s National Helpline
(800) 662-4357

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 

(800) 273-8255

Apps/ Websites

Insight timer




Yoga with Adrienne


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