This time last year we lived in a very different world, as of today over 78,500 people have died from the Coronavirus in Britain alone. Everyone is struggling. Everyone is suffering. Young people’s mental health has crippled and life as we know it has been stripped from us. Understandably, there is a global pandemic resulting in millions of untimely deaths but, having spoken to many young people on their feelings and thoughts during these uncertain times it is clear, young people are “lonely and neglected”. Year 13’s feel either relieved that exams have been cancelled, or anxious that their grade (that can’t reflect their capabilities as well as an exam) will be misjudged and they will consequently lose their university places. Year 12’s are uncertain about their exams, as they try and deal with online learning and home study, which does not compare to a classroom environment, worrying about how they can fill their UCAS applications with nothing. Year 11’s with their exams cancelled are mostly in the same boat at the year 13’s, and year 10’s are faced with their looming GCSEs with the uncertainty if they will go ahead, as the current year 11’s were also made the false promise of exams. Thankfully, schools and colleges have been prepared, teachers are trying their best and making sure their students receive as good as an education in this situation as possible. But this cannot compare, and more and more students feel unmotivated when logging onto hours of online learning. One student voiced concern, that although, the lockdown is a necessity “we need variation and consideration if we’re to get anywhere in this pandemic educationally”. Closing the colleges was the right move, but a promise that we should still be able to reach out goals and careers, that we have worked many years to be achievable.

None of the young people I interviewed, who all attend school/college, complained about the lack of support they were being given in their education (interviewees have asked to remain anonymous) and have in fact stated that the “college cannot do any more”. They had complaints about the Government, with one student saying, “I can’t help but feel that the Government doesn’t know what it’s doing, it doesn’t have a plan it’s kind of worrying”. Mental health in young people was bad before the pandemic now it is even worse, unfortunately, there isn’t funding in the NHS (who have done an amazing, invaluable, and difficult job) to help everyone and some people struggle to speak out. But young people should be given leniency and understanding, as some people expect us to still pretend everything is okay as we watch our nation fall around us. Not only do young people see the pandemic affecting themselves, but they also see it affecting parents, grandparents, friends and family. Not all young people are as concerned about their social lives as their lives have now been switched to balancing their education while caring for other family members whether it be childcare or looking after a poorly family member. Some young people escape their home lives through college and are now trying to learn in a toxic environment. It is tough for everyone, everyone is stressed as a nation we mourn our losses, but together we work for a better tomorrow. A brighter tomorrow, where we can start to heal and live once again.