Students burnt out by pandemic learning look for solutions
Students burnt out by pandemic learning are looking for solutions, and therefore turn to new ideas. Some say that school now feels ‘like a never-ending cycle, like a hamster wheel’ while others point to the lack of social connection.
‘The workload … I could handle it. But then because of the lack of social connection and not having emotional support from my friends, it really makes it harder to concentrate and feel as motivated to do the same workload’ states student Elisa Do from McMaster University. Do is convinced a longer winter break might really help students’ mental health. Feeling overwhelmed is a common sentiment among students during pandemic. Do says she is looking forward to spend time with her family. Also, she’s excited to have time for herself and return to poetry, painting and sketching.
Due to student burnout, many universities are looking to extend winter breaks. For example, in Ontario Western University announced on Tuesday that it will delay the start of classes for the winter term. Dozens more are taking similar steps, such as the University of Toronto and the Université du Québec à Montréal.
There have been widespread appeals from students for more downtime. Researchers from Carleton University are also highlighting how the pandemic is creating the perfect storm for student’s mental health. But that’s not all: online learning has also negatively impacted the quality of education according to a poll in Ontario.
To conclude, students are looking at ways to reconnect with the outside. Focusing overwhelmingly on studying might actually exacerbate problems. Learning institutions understand this and are setting up programs and counseling services. Ontario university student Javahir Saidov reiterates: ‘The school part has always been hard. But before we had the social part, where we get to talk to our friends, go to a library with them, grab a cup of coffee and recharge. Now that part has been totally cut out, so we’re only left with like 12,14 hours of just school. Without the social part, it’s very hard to do that productively’.