Investigation Into The Heightened Stress Levels That College Students Face Amidst the Covid-19 Pandemic

Hallie Bachman ’24

Contributing Writer

As many students can agree, the life of a college student can be rather rigorous. With heavy course loads and high expectations from professors, themselves, and their peers, it can be hard for students to find a balance between academics and forming a life outside of school. Add an intramural or club sport on top of those already pressing time committments, and it can make a students’ life quite difficult in an attempt to juggle all of the obligations and time committments. 

An anonymous first-year on the track teams discussed the struggles she is starting to experience at Trinity. The biochemistry major is concerned about having enough time for herself, while at the same time keeping her grades up and going to practice. 

As a member of the Interdisciplinary Science Program (ISP), a scientific research gateway group, this particular student finds herself in lab for 16 hours a week, not to mention the time committments posed by her four other classes and physically rigorous practices five days per week. She finds herself having practices late in the night, doing one-on-ones with her coach, and staying later than other athletes to finish her workouts. 

If one were to look at her schedule, anyone would assume that she is completely booked with little to no time to relax, let alone finish her work. Her committments do not allow any room for her to factor in homework time, which significantly increases stress levels and makes it even more unlikely she will be able to sleep at a reasonable hour. 

 It can be overwhelming to have just a committment to four classes, but as this student described, adding a sport can leave little time to complete the high levels of work, adding another layer of stress. 

Another Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) student at Trinity spoke of many similar claims. This particular student stressed that the workload at Trinity is rather demanding for students, even when classes were all she had on her plate. 

An anonymous American studies major found that even without labs and mandatory practices, she still spends the majority of her days completing schoolwork. She takes four classes, which all add up to around an hour and a half, multiple times per week. This student finds that most of her work is reading, which can be very time consuming.

While she does not have any labs, she rather easily fills her day with work and still finds herself staying up late in the night to complete her studies. 

While these two types of students differ greatly in their academic pursuits and goals for the future, there is no debate that students are finding themselves stretched beyond their abilities to deal with the amount of work they are presented. Student-athletes in particular have found it difficult to complete all of their committments, and thus even more difficult to manage their stress levels and maintain their mental health. 

With the Covid-19 pandemic still prevalent and affecting the lives of so many students around the world, it makes it even harder for students to separate school from social life. There are few social activities to participate in, and if there are any, the opportunities do not arise often. 

Especially for first-years, it is hard to navigate school and develop friendships within this new world in which isolation and contact with others is no less than prohibited. 

The negative social effects of Covid-19 seem to bear down particularly hard on non-athletes because they do not have much to do outside of schoolwork, and lack the opportunity to bond with their peers in a non-prohibited way.

But likewise, student-athletes feel similar impacts because they will most likely not participate in a completely normal season, along with facing sometimes double the number of time committments than non-athletes. As demonstrated by a variety of student experiences, the pandemic also has added stress in the sense that most students wish to remain healthy and keep that in mind while they follow the school guidelines and health protocols, making it even harder for them to socialize with their peers.

While all students’ schedules differ, it is clear that with or without the Covid-19 pandemic, the majority of college students face the stresses of an extremely busy schedule while trying to sort out their life during their seemingly short four years at Trinity.

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