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Quarantine’s Effects On CB Students’ Mental Health

Christian Brothers High School has always been committed to academic rigor combined with a loving, inclusive community. But since the beginning of the Covid-19 Pandemic, many students and teachers have missed out on the close-knit community CB offers. This lack of socialization and anxiety of the unknown future has not only had a destructive effect […]

Christian Brothers High School has always been committed to academic rigor combined with a loving, inclusive community. But since the beginning of the Covid-19 Pandemic, many students and teachers have missed out on the close-knit community CB offers. This lack of socialization and anxiety of the unknown future has not only had a destructive effect on student’s learning but also their mental health.

Homecoming, Holy Bowl, Prom, and CB student’s first day of school on campus are all something nobody would imagine we would be missing out on. The Covid-19 Pandemic has put a hold on all social activities, which also means student’s high school life and memories are also being put on pause.

CB Class of 2022’s Guidance Counselor Mrs. Erica Gormley shares that students are lacking a sense of a social dynamic which gives a feeling of anxiousness.

“Being social and being a teenager is such a big part of high school years, and there are so many limits being put on teenagers these days”.

Teenagers all long for peer validation, Mrs. Gormley adds, and they cannot experience this as easily as we would be able to in person, which causes extreme frustration.

Stuck in an emotional pandemic is how CB’s Class of 2024’s Guidance Counselor Mr. Armando Diaz ‘94 describes the feelings teenagers are currently experiencing. Mr. Diaz agrees with Mrs. Gormley that students crave emotional completion and validation from our peers because it is a way teens connect with one another. But right now teens are feeling a lack of connection with their peers.

“When you are connecting with other people you feel complete, you feel whole, you feel affirmed and loved and there’s a real emotional pandemic right now that we are going through,” Mr. Diaz shares.

Mr. Diaz and Mrs. Gormley have seen true suffering in students throughout the pandemic because there has been a lack of building trust between peers, and the scarcity of connection creates extreme stress for students, causing them to ultimately feel alone and isolated.

Maya Snyder (‘22) backs up the claim that students genuinely feel isolated, emotionally and physically. Maya shares that she has felt especially lonely recently because she feels has missed out on a large number of opportunities to connect and be together with her friends. Maya also notices that she took going to school and spending unlimited amounts time with friends for granted.

“After being home for a long time, I have begun to miss socializing with my friends and the people in my classes,” she explains.

The junior also states that interaction in the classroom was a way she socialized the most at school but now there is a sense of anxiety regarding going back to campus and socializing.

“I felt that when I was actually at school, I was more connected to my teachers and friends, but when we go back, I am kind of scared for how different it will be”.

Maya says that she is anxious for the future and there are so many questions that go through her mind whenever going in public such as: “what if they have Covid?” and “what if they get me sick?”. These unanswered questions give not only Maya Snyder anxieties, but also many other students in the CB community.

Mrs. Emily McDougall, Christian Brothers’ wellness counselor, explains that anxieties many students are experiencing regarding Covid-19 are very real.

“There is a bit more anxiety around the sort of unknown aspects of what we are all going through,” she says.

Experiencing the unknown scares a lot of students and provides them with the unwanted sense of fear, which may cause students to spiral and do things that may be unhealthy for themselves. In order for CB students to feel safe and healthy during quarantine, she recommends we take this time to find ourselves and get creative in order to stay on the right path,

“I believe that any experience of an obstacle is an opportunity to get to know more about yourself,” Mrs. McDougall explains.

The wellness counselor believes that students should limit screen time and partake in physical activity to keep up healthy habits whilst at home. She also recommends that CB students reach out to Christian Brothers counselors if they need someone to talk to about how they are feeling. The CB Counseling Department is here to listen to students’ feelings regarding this chaotic time.

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