COVID-19? A pandemic, yet also a mystery. The effects this infection has held on the human population are evident in our lives, even today. Problems that young adults encountered and continue to encounter remain unacknowledged, despite the fact that problems faced by adults, seniors and younger children receive importance.
There have always been stereotypes around teens and their transition toward adulthood, and the problems posed by COVID-19 only add to this collection. The unexpected pandemic caused a lot to change in day-to-day lives throughout the world. Aspects of our lives relating to politics, economics, and social welfare evolved and much was “temporarily” shut down. Typically, this halted a lot of mass production and overall put a stall on everything that had previously seemed “normal.” For some, this caused the loss of jobs, while for others, it created room for growth and opportunity.
But for most teens and young adults, this was a burden of nothing but stress and confusion. Recovering after the lockdown was like working your way up from the base to the very top of a structure, except everything between those two points was missing. The gap in between was like the barrier placed upon us due to COVID-19.
As a 15-year-old Albertan, I have a lot to talk about. I went from a middle schooler to suddenly a high schooler, with the years in between being lost. After isolation, the major issues that I noticed in young adults and teens were mental health and social barriers. After the easing of restrictions, I felt as if socializing as a whole had changed. Social isolation during such a crucial transition period between two different stages of school created a strange disconnection between many of us. Many shied away from social interaction and developed this mentality that allowed them to find comfort in social negligence.
In general, I find it is so much harder to make friends and start conversations nowadays, because most of the time there’s this unknown awkwardness or fear of opening up to someone who could take advantage of you. As well, opening up to the public after long periods of isolation poses the threat of judgment, ultimately stressing the importance of personal image.
In general, I feel that often the mental health of teenagers is portrayed as irrelevant. “What is there for you to feel upset about? You don’t have a job, a family to care for, or bills to pay?” Often, we are slammed with these comments, but really if we don’t confidently work our way into adulthood, then we will affect jobs, families and the future generation of adults!
In my opinion, there needs to be more recognition regarding the potential well-equipped youth hold for the future.