Lives of teenagers during the COVID-19 pandemic

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As people around the world begin to adjust to their new routines, or lack thereof, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, teens feel as if they are dealing with more stress than normal. Although they may not be surrounded by the usual drama caused by tests, homework, and friends, the concerns caused by the coronavirus more than compensate for the old daily struggles.


The troubles that have arisen from online school are a source of much confusion and stress for students. As Blackboard 24-7, continues to fail, students are struggling to teach themselves the material that teachers normally walk them through during class time. Fairfax County Public School students have not had in-class instruction for over six weeks. This is over half of the length of the usual Summer Break. Juniors are being stripped of guidance during a major year of preparation for their life beyond high school, and seniors feel that they have lost all of the events which they have been looking forward to for so long, as proms and graduation ceremonies are being canceled. The college decision is being made blind, leaving many seniors apprehensive for the years to come, questioning their choices.


The economic discrepancy in the United States, and specifically in Fairfax County becomes more apparent with each passing day. The wealthy have more opportunities, more access to devices and space than their lower-income counterparts. Some students are tasked with taking care of younger siblings on top of their given coursework, as their parents are considered “essential personnel” in light of the pandemic. Many of them who rely on the schools for breakfast and lunch now have to leave home and walk to their bus stop to receive their food. Although these struggles may not have been apparent in the classroom and will not be reflected in the grades of students, the material is still important to learn, having a potential impact on upcoming school years.


One factor that all students deal with is family. The tension of having all members of the household present at all times is weighing on family members. Dealing with noises from siblings, very few opportunities to leave the house, and less time and space to oneself is disturbing everyone. This applies in particular to teenagers, who are known for needing time spent by themselves or with friends. Feelings of boredom, stress, and anger are perfectly normal during this time, as people begin to change their ways of life.


As everyone continues to adjust, people, especially teenagers, need to remember that nobody can be perfect. Our situation is unprecedented, but all things will eventually fall into place. This will come to an end. We will get through this together.