Mental health as a student (online semester due to COVID-19 regulations)

tallandsweet

I had an awful week and wanted to tell you about it to give you a idea of what studying at university during the pandemic is like.

First off, I will not explain what the situation is like in Germany right now as I find writing or talking about the spread of SARS-CoV-2 unpleasant. I will however say that it is not possible for me to attend lectures offline at the moment.

I have more to do than I usually would.

This is based on a statement three of my professors have made - they are giving us more and more difficult tasks right now as they believe that we can handle it.

[Photo by XPS on Unsplash]
[Photo by XPS on Unsplash]

I don't feel good, like, at all anymore

I am great at managing my time, but recently, I have not been feeling great at all. This is due to three things:

  • I miss my family
  • I am seriously deprived of human contact (other than my boyfriend and my room mate, I haven't met anyone for more than a month (I know I am so much better off than a lot of people, so I'm still grateful))
  • My flat mate is uncleanly and messes up my organised, clean household as soon as she moves
  • I've not been eating well
  • I've tried looking after myself better but it doesn't always work

Things are too much

My mental health took a dip when my boyfriend stayed with me for an entire week recently. He had a panic attack (which is why he stayed that long in the first place) and had to recover from that while I had to care for myself, him and do all the chores (like I said, one cannot expect my flat mate to clean, like, ever).

That was simply too much. I told him. I was angry with him. I overslept the next day, didn't attend my lectures and missed out on a lot of important university related stuff.

It's hard for me to ask for help

And then I got my period and felt like I would die.

[Photo by Yuris Alhumaydy on Unsplash]
[Photo by Yuris Alhumaydy on Unsplash]

That changed our positions - all of a sudden I was the one requiring help. We were in bed, cuddling, but whenever he moved, my cramps would get worse and I wanted the bed to myself. He offered to get me a cherry stone thermal pillow - I refused, but it only got worse and when he asked me what I needed I uttered "get me that pillow and heat patches please" with my last little bit of energy.

He left me in the dark, in my bed, which was just what I needed. I was able to convince myself I had to clean while he was gone, and I did, which also made me feel better. I had taken an ibuprofen an hour before he left, it hadn't worked, but all of a sudden, my cramps were much more manageable. When he returned, I wasn't in pain anymore, I could smile again and life looked a little better.

Moving out was a f*cking huge and important step

I have to realise that the last months were so full of life, adventures, experiences, that it simply shifted my "I am no longer living my lavish life at home" depression to now. All I had felt for the first two months after moving out was "oh my god I'm finally no longer living with my family", which felt amazing, I loved life, things were good - and I always knew they were TOO good.

[Photo by Anna Pelzer on Unsplash]
[Photo by Anna Pelzer on Unsplash]

It is what it is

I always knew my mood would crash, it would tumble down, things would get a lot worse.

That's just how life is for me and it's honestly okay. I've come to terms with it. I'm not bipolar, but I experience emotions more strongly than other people, which is exhausting to say the least.

I appreciate that my boyfriend respects that he doesn't always know how to deal with me. It's very important to me that someone STOPS when I say no and that when I ask for hugs, I'll receive them.

I hope that this was somewhat interesting for you to read - I would appreciate you leaving some of your thoughts on this behind.

Are you a student at the moment? How is studying/going to school like for you right now?

Are your children attending school/university? What are you most afraid of when it comes to their mental health?

Mental health as a student (online semester due to COVID-19 regulations)
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Most Helpful Girls

  • Puppystarfish23
    I do genuinely feel sorry for student right now as they've just left home for the first time, don't really have a opportunity to make new friends to distract them from missing their family and i do think they are being ripped off too on uni fees seeming as a lot of unis said it was safe for students to come back and now their being locked up like they are in prison and don't necessarily have a choice to leave. They are not having the education they are paying for and it must be extremely scary for first year students and effecting their mental health because at the end of the day they are still very young and need the support of family and friends when things get difficult.

    But as for dead lines and being over worked. I don't know what first year uni students have to deal with in Germany but in the UK I've been told the first year of uni is the easiest work wise. Plus you have more than uni students had years before you have computers and Internet on hand 24/7 were you can research and keep in contact with others. Plus if you can't deal with the work load at uni, how will you deal with the work load when it actually comes to having a career.

    I didn't go uni myself as i saw it as over priced and unnecessary for myself personally. If you don't enjoy uni there is other options out there and it might make you happier. Not going uni doesn't make you a failure it just means it doesn't work for you. Different things work for different people. Plus now a days you can be successful without uni depending on what you want to do with your life.

    Im packing boxes for a living yet im earning £10.45 a hour and i have no stress in my life. I go to work and the go home and live my life. there's uni students who can't even get a job at maccies right now. Depending on what you want to do with your life uni isn't always important but your mental health and happiness sure is.
    Is this still revelant?
  • spuitkaas
    Hey I'm also a student in uni right now. I started my masters in a different city and I did decide to move out, which helped a lot for my mental health. Having nice roommates are a big help and not having my parents doing fun stuff all the time while I have to study is helping as well.
    However, I'm also deprived of human contact. I have contacted some people from my year to eat together etc, but it always feels like a big risk and the zoom calls help a bit, but it's not the same.
    I miss going to campus, having activities, parties and meeting new people. I have barely scratched the surface of the city here because I have no reason to go out.
    What does help for me is going to the gym, however it's so busy atm that I'm only able to go twice a week. I try to workout at home but I just don't like it.
    Anyways it really sucks and I hope better times are coming soon.
    Is this still revelant?

Most Helpful Guys

  • RingOfFire
    1. Lockdowns do not work to prevent death from the Chinese Plague. They cause more deaths because of suicide, lack of medical screenings and treatments for life threatening illnesses and the damage it does to the economy which causes deadly poverty. There is no evidence that lockdowns save any lives. There IS evidence that they lead to government tyranny.

    2. This is ESPECIALLY true in the educational system. There is overwhelming evidence that opening the schools to young school age children while taking sensible precautions POSES NO ADDITIONAL RISK TO EITHER TEACHERS OR THE COMMUNITY. In addition, there is overwhelming evidence that children DO NOT LEARN WELL WITH REMOTE CLASSES versus in person classes. So these little Democrat dictators in the United States, who are corruptly shutting down our schools ARE DESTROYING THE NEXT GENERATION of citizens in our country FOR NOT VALID SCIENTIFIC REASON. You can blame them and the FUCKING TEACHER'S UNIONS who are in corrupt alliance to the Democrats. Neither of them give a shit about kids. All they care about is POWER and MONEY. THEY ARE DESTROYING OUR COUNTRY.
    Is this still revelant?
    • Chinese Plague? Die, racist scum.

    • RingOfFire

      Came from China after they knew that their plague was killing people and cut off travel in their own country but not to other countries and they sent millions of human biological bombs all over the planet to infect the rest of the world. It was an intentional act of terrorism by Chinese communists to try to overturn the will of the American people to reelect President Trump who they despise because he outsmarted them and won't let them steal American jobs and intellectual property anymore. It was an act of war by communist China. The Chinese Plague intentionally launched on the world. They need to PAY. And they WILL.

  • Psychoanalytical
    Please take care with how much stress you handle because you might risk getting Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.

    You are also at risk of growing a mental stress response.

    CFS/ME are permanent nightmares. With CFS/ME, the person is not able to function anymore. Patients will usually lose their jobs because the least effort will be extremely hard to tolerate and will have adverse side effects. Studying will also be a nightmare.

    Mental stress response? I had one in 2017 and it was terrible. It affected my performance and life in general. It remained with me for more than a year as far as I remember.

    What's my advice? Health is more important than studies. It is alright to fail one semester or get bad grades, but don't lose your health! Health cannot be compensated, and without it, we cannot do anything.
    Is this still revelant?
    • Thank you for this, I had never heard of either of these!

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What Girls & Guys Said

510
  • Jjpayne
    All you can do is take it one day at a time. Covid is hard for everyone during this time in terms of depression... It's tough... Just cling to your supports and facetime with close ones whenever you can
  • anon1903
    I love Germany! My first fictional crush lives there. (Lame, lame, lame)

    I'm sorry to hear that, honey. I'm telephobic myself. Online classes are so efficing ass pains.

    Sad face.

    Hope you feel better.
    • Hey!

      What's a fictional crush? I've never heard of that term before :D
      I've had a hard time adapting to Germany. It's fine really, I'm so privileged to be here, but it's been a challenge for sure.

    • anon1903

      Thanks for replying!

      A crush on fictional character lol.

      Would you mind talking about Germany sometime? One of the fanfics need it.

    • Yeah, sure, send me a message to talk about what you need to know :)

  • zagor
    I feel really bad for people who are students now. I had such a good time my first year at U. My friends daughter was supposed to start a new program across the country this fall, and now all her classes are online and she doesn't know anyone there and is thinking of going home.
    • This truly resonated with me.
      I miss my family.
      I'm in love with my boyfriend and am so blessed to be able to see him every day at the moment, but all I want is to spend some time at home and NOT HAVE TO CLEAN FOR A WEEK.
      That's all.
      I'm okay with handling everything for 50 weeks of the year, but I also need some pampering.

      If you two are close, send her a card to show her you're thinking about the situation she's in.
      NONE of my friends sent me a card, ever, despite me giving them one for every tiny occasion I could come up with.
      Everyone loves feeling appreciated and seen!

  • buckyboy
    I am a student too. I relate to everything you mentioned above. Online semester has been stressful for everyone but some people manage it well while others don't.
    But do remember to take breaks for 30 mins after every 2 hours of productivity. You might feel better.
    When you miss your family, call or FaceTime them.
    Stay strong 💪
  • Massageman
    I am a student in so far as I have to take Continuing Education courses to maintain my massage therapy licensing. And just doing that (12 contact hours this month) is a real pain in the biscuits.
    • Wow, that's a lot!
      I didn't know you had to do that to maintain your license... How long will that last?

    • Massageman

      2 year state license, at almost $100 per year!
      1 year on National Certification renewal.
      I can use the same credits for both, but I still have 11 hours left to go now in 18 days!

    • oh man. at least you'll be finished soon!

  • GIRL I am exactly in the same boat as you and it helped me immensely reading your take.

    Last year, my first year of college I was SO happy. I spent so much time with my friends, it was when I met my boyfriend and I was a lot with my family. My mental health was amazing, I had great time management and I was on top of everything in my life. Now, I've lost everything. Im unhappy, I've lost my appetite, my family says I've lost so much weight and I don't find joy in the little things anymore. I don't take school as seriously as I used to. My motivation is nonexistent.

    I'm praying that it will be over soon. I've never been so down in my life. I know the pandemic is bigger than me and my feelings, but it's affecting a lot of people for sure.

    Hope you'll also be better soon! Good luck! If you ever need someone to talk to, let me know ❤️
    • Hey :)
      Thank you so much for your response.
      I've been reading your posts for a while now, so I kinda followed the development you went through.
      I will say that not everything has been as glamourous for me either. However, I do have to ask - are you still together with your boyfriend or are you two broken up?

      I'm extremely nervous about introducing my boyfriend to my parents - he knows it'll take months and probably years until that happen and he's fine with it. We already decided we'll use one of his catholic middle names (the other ones sound too foreign and he said he didn't want to make them feel uncomfortable) as his first name. I know they won't like him and that just doesn't feel right.

      What you write resonates with me more often than I let you know. Growing up with strange/stict parents has turned me into a more resilient person, but it was only in this relationship that I realised how much emotional damage I've actually taken away and still carry with me today.
      Talking hasn't helped. I've tried. So. many. times.

      But, it is what it is - on top of everything, there's the pandemic, so yeah, I get it.
      I also didn't expect to get this much love on this post tbh, it's G@G after all and when you say you don't feel that great, there's always someone quick to tell you to stop whining.

      That's why I'd like to thank you again for sharing what you're feeling.
      You'd have deserved MHG, I was offline for the last few days/weeks, so sorry about that.
      Sending postive vibes and hopefully some motivation your way!

  • tartaarsaus
    Honestly, to me being a student at uni during the pandemic was better than last year. I have more variety in courses that I can pick because I can now easily attend other universities, it’s far cheaper for me, lectures have become way more interactive to me. It sucks I see friends less, but that’d would have happened with or without the pandemic given that I have so many other things going on.


    That said, I do live at home now as opposed to in uni town.


    Also, I can actually afford grad school especially because of the pandemic
    • How is it cheaper for you do u live in America?

    • I can just live at home so no costs

    • I guess it's just hard to be a first year student during this time.
      I'm sick of it, but I'd never give up my independence now.
      I couldn't meet my boyfriend, I couldn't go for walks at 1am, I couldn't eat what the f*ck I wanted. I'd get judged all the time for every move I make, I'd be interrogated on a daily basis...
      I'm so much better off having moved out, but at the same time, I miss feeling safe, at home and looked after.

      Where do you attend uni if I may ask?

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  • I honestly don’t know how I would deal with Covid without my boyfriend he’s the light of my life
  • Sophia001
    I'm a university student too. I think I like online lectures. I don't know why some people can't use this opportunity for their future.
    • Hey!
      Thank you for your response.
      I agree with you, I like them too - however, when you don't live with your family and don't ever see anyone other than people in the supermarket, your flat mate and your boyfriend, you do get kinda lonely.
      So glad things are working out well for your though!

  • Aiko_E_Lara
    You're not alone. The feeling of getting numb for doing the same thing everyday. i do some art to get my mind off it. covid makes everyone feel like a loser.
    • Thank you for your response.
      I agree.
      I started going on more fun and random dates with my boyfriend for me to be able to dress up and put on makeup.
      It's been really hard though.

  • Kooma24
    I usually don't read posts like this but your writing is really good. I am not a student but covid f#cked my life up as well. Girlfriend of 3 years leff me a month ago but I finally feel like I got over it and managed to move on in my head which is nice. I was very anxious because we were about to move in to my own new apartment before the breakup and now I have to move there alone. I already imagined us there together and I never lived fully alone without family or anyone. Someone was always there for me. Not this time, so I am a little scared but trying to stay positive :)
    • MAC1983

      You are both more mature at your ages than I was until 2 years ago, around 35.

      "Keep on Keeping on", like Robert Crumb wrote.

    • Kooma24

      Thanks! :) I really like that quote!

    • Hey @Kooma24!
      Thank you very much for sharing your story.
      I try to keep my takes as detailled and interesting as possible. I've been using G@G as a way to process my emotions for a year now - I like it because it forces me to think about my issues in another language, which implies another way of thinking, at least for me.

      My ex texted me last week, which almost led to me having a breakdown. He broke up with me a year ago and it was only when I had been seeing my now-boyfriend for a bit that I felt like I was ready for a relationship.
      My advice for you is to think about your situation when you feel like it and to distract yourself whenever you feel like you absolutely cannot handle it.
      I was really anxious about moving out from home, but it does get better once you adjust to whatever feels new about a particular situation (in your case, moving to a new apartment).
      My boyfriend is planning to move out too and we've been looking at some houses together (it's cheaper to rent a house than an apartment here LOL), but every time he finds a nice one, I feel like we're too young to deserve to be this happy.

      I'm extremely anxious about the whole situation right now, but I love how he saw a need of mine (getting away from my flat mate every once in a while (can't move out entirely because my parents won't know about my boyfriend for quite a while)) and combined it with a need of his (moving out).
      I've been doing this on my own for years. Whenever I feel like I absolutely cannot handle something anymore, I try to take care of it by combining multiple issues that need to be addressed.

      Sorry for rambling like this.

      @MAC1983: thank you for your comment. That was such a nice, genuine and sweet compliment I really took to heart!

  • spartan55
    What did you get angry at him about?
    • Him sleeping in my (single) bed, thus taking up all the space, being lazy, not paying for groceries or his drinks that I don't drink (he's addicted to sugar (he says so himself) and needs Coca Cola or "Mezzo Mix" (Fanta & Cola) every day).
      And other stuff, but I'll try to write about that soon.

  • Anonymous
    It’s important to take things one step at a time > instead of looking at the big image (which could be intimidating) , rather break the problem down into smaller pieces and tackle the problems one at a Time. I’m also a student and I also struggle with depression, especially now during lockdown. I recently went through a breakup with a guy I had been dating for 2 and a half years , I live with my parents and my mom is very verbally and psychologically abusive and been trapped inside a house with her is really messing up my mental health.

    The purpose of this long ass paragraph was to tell you that you’re not alone , you’re not the only one struggling 🤗 keep strong x
    • First off, thank you so much for your heartfelt and honest response.

      Please know that you too are not alone. I was in a very similar situation a year ago, when the lockdown hit.
      As a result, my parents kicked me out, which is why I had to move out and away in the first place.
      I truly understand what it means to feel lonely around your family - I don't want to go into too many details, but your comment made me cry.
      It gets better.
      I hate living with my messy flat mate, but nothing could make me move back in with my parents right now. My mental health is bad, but it would be a million times worse if I was still living with them.

      I truly hope you will find a way out at some point. Please know that even when things are dark, they do eventually get better.
      Feel free to message me at any time if you need to talk.

    • Anonymous

      Thank you 🤗 I look at it this way, these hard times make us stronger. If we were handed everything in life, we wouldn't know how to do things ourselves or cope in the real world where things are hard. Thanks again for you reply, it's always nice to know that I'm not alone

  • Anonymous
    I graduated during the pandemic by taking summer courses from May-August 2020, it wasn’t easy but I got a B+ and a B in my courses which is good enough for me. But I was living on res by myself and I had a small roach 🪳 issue from end of June til end of August when I moved out. I had no one, because people I know from school were done by April and graduated and they were doing their own thing. I don’t have a girlfriend or had a roommate. I just had to work hard and do the best I can. Focusing on my studies was a tough thing to do it online especially in the summer. I wanted to be out and about in the summer not in doors that’s why I’m proud I pretty much got B+‘s although I could have gotten As if there were in class lectures.

    I would say just take it one day at a time, try to watch funny stuff on Netflix or on tv, play video games, work out, try to keep busy. Try to not have a intense course load, if you are taking full year courses then take 3 courses at most whether it’s yearly or semesters. Talk to your profs also they will understand, they know these times are tough for students. If you are doing poorly in a course and have a bad prof then drop the course in a timely manner so that grade does reflect on your transcript. Good luck the rest of the way.
    • Hey,
      Thank you for your response, this is great advice.
      I have five courses this and four or five courses next semester.
      It's been a lot.
      I've taken a lot of time off, otherwise I would've had a mental breakdown for sure.
      I really learned to prioritize my health during my last year of high school and still finished as one of the best students in my year. Life has a way of working out.

      I see my flat mate once or twice a day and there are definitely days where our paths don't cross at all. The apartment is spacious and quiet, which I'm grateful for.

      I've been watching Malcom in the Middle a lot recently, though I will say that some of the sarcasm/humour isn't that kosher to me, but maybe that's just my opinion, I don't know.

      To conclude - congratulations on graduating, getting stuff done, you should be proud of yourself! Moving out was such a hassle for me, I can only imagine what you went through. Also it's amazing that you managed to get good grades while having the weight of the world on your back (it does seem like that when you go through something like this, right?)!

    • Anonymous

      Well hopefully you do well, just take what you can handle as I said. I can’t wait til Covid is over, then I can travel 🧳

    • Me too... Can't wait to go somewhere with my boyfriend or to simply go and have food at a restaurant!

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  • Anonymous
    I’m in pre med and my lab tests are extremely hard to take seriously. The guy literally takes 10 mins to explain one thing and it ends up not mattering because he doesn’t put it on the test. I don’t understand Americans teachers and professors. Why the hell do you take your time teaching things that are not going to be on the test?
    • I'm sorry about that.
      My professors don't even say what will be on tests and what won't - also, in the German system, lecturers will try to make things as difficult as possible for you because they are convinced that they need to come off as being smarter than everybody else.
      I know this for a fact as I've received education from both people who were used to the English and the German system and the whole approach to learning and explaining is sooo different.

      I feel you. I hope you're okay.

    • Anonymous

      My mental is just exploding. Like on one side i have a girl i really like and i have a habit of trying to understand every little thing she does so i keep repeating it over and over. Like i have ocd. On the other im so behind on assignments. Im too lazy to get up and do them. The professors are getting more stupider by the day. Like i have one psychology class where this old lady just talks for an hour straight to us on zoom. No involment of students in the lecture. I went from getting straight A's with younger teachers in psych to C's with this ladies class. Also no one really takes ental health seriously

    • I agree with you.
      Balancing a relationship/getting to know someone with university is hard.
      Also, crappy professors definitely are a problem!
      I wish you all the best - I treat myself with food I like whenever I feel lonely or stressed. It's helped me quite a bit tbh :)

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