How to Combat Pandemic Blues

By Brianna Lopez

Mental health has been a struggle for college students to achieve while balancing classes, homework, jobs, and their social lives. Now, with the shift to social distancing due to COVID-19, mental health issues have been amplified in many and Barry students are no exception.

Photo Credit to Ask the Scientists

Athletic training sophomore Bianca Canovas said that she has been increasingly stressed due to having to adjust to the different learning experience.

Political science junior Miranda Tinkey agrees, adding that as someone who struggles with pre-existing mental health issues, she believes it has been harder than normal for those who struggle with mental health to adapt to the virtual learning environment.

Dr. Hossiella Longoria, director of the counseling center at Barry, lists some causes she believes are contributing to the suffering of Barry students during this time.

“I believe the biggest impact that virtual learning is having on students is the lack of social interaction,” said Longoria.

Graphic Credit to MedPage Today

Many students have complained of having frequently cancelled classes or having to teach themselves via PowerPoints provided by the professors. This makes the students feel like they are not valued by their professors, which in turn lowers their motivation.

This is something Tinkey identified with as seeking to balance personal, academic and professional aspects of her life leaves her feeling “almost melancholic,” she said.

“The unanswerable questions hang regarding what the future holds and whether or not life will ever return to at least somewhat what we remember as ‘normal’,” said Tinkey.

Photo Credit to Texas Christian University

Despite these gloomy feelings, both Tinkey and Canovas believe that Barry is doing their best to support students during this time.

“I honestly think Barry is doing a good job trying to keep the life on campus and online, by the events they have been having on campus and online,” said Canovas.

According to Longoria, the center offers free and confidential counseling services to all students residing in Florida. This includes resident students living on-campus and students living off-campus in Florida. These services are provided via a telehealth video conferencing platform.

In addition, the center hosts webinars to highlight coping strategies for some of the most common mental health concerns in college students. Most recently was the webinar called “My Best Self 101” that occurred on Nov. 19, which focused on self-gratitude and self-compassion.

On Dec. 1, the center will host Fresh Check Day, an in-person event to raise awareness regarding mental health and suicide prevention.