Pandemic! Did You Really Have To Do Gen Z Like That?

Madelyn Laabs

My e-learning buddy Honey is helping me do my homework.

Have you experienced feeling anxious or experiencing a lot of stress lately? If you are a part of the Generation Z, your answer was most likely yes. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, Gen Z is defined as “the generation of people born in the late 1990s and early 2000s.” This generation has been shown to have been the most impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic that started in February 2020. Current SPASH students are a part of this generation and have agreed they have been feeling effects from the pandemic. Gen Z has shown signs of mental health issues, stress, and career uncertainty from the pandemic.

Gen Z Is Shown To Be The Most Affected

In a survey sent out to twenty students at SPASH who are included in Generation Z, 80% of young adults answered they believe Gen Z has been the most impacted. An impact of why people may believe that Gen Z is the greatest effect, is because “Experts say that Gen Z is particularly affected because it is a time of life transitions” according to the article “Why Gen Z Has Been Hit Hard By Pandemic Stress.” People within Gen Z are in a time of life transitions and trying to figure out what their next big step within their lives are. They are growing and learning and with the pandemic on top of this, it has made this generation experience lots of stress and anxiety. 

Missing out 

Gen Z is feeling like they are missing out on a lot. In an interview with a SPASH Senior Megan Stremer, she said “I think that Gen Z has been the most affected since most everyone in these generations is either in school or college, so they have missed out on tons of things that most older people have experienced. I would also say that some people in Gen Z have lost confidence, since there has been so much isolation.” Gen Z is not only missing out on possible learning opportunities, they are also experiencing stress and uncertainty about the world around them as well as developing mental health issues that may have come from online learning. 

Pandemic Is Affecting Gen Z’s Career Goals 

COVID has hit Gen Z the most with online learning which is causing uncertainty about Gen Z’s career goals. In the survey conducted to the students within SPASH, one of the questions asked “What do you think was most affected within your life with the pandemic?” The second most popular answer answered was career goals/education. 25 percent of the respondents answered they felt that their education was the most impacted and that they felt their career goals have been impacted. According to the survey conducted within the article, “65 percent of Gen Z respondents said education is important to them, 46 percent said the pandemic had made it difficult to pursue their educational and career goals.” With a lack of education that was missed throughout the transitions with the pandemic, as well as just lack of motivation to do school work, it has impacted students and their ability when it comes to their education. Megan Stremer additionally agreed in her interview that “…Online learning became very lonely and unmotivational. It was hard to get myself to do basic tasks or things that I would normally do.” Students felt burnt out and unmotivated during e-learning and schooling with the pandemic which caused a whole lot of trouble for Gen Z when it came to their education and career goals. 

Mental Health Issues

Covid has caused a lot of mental health issues and stress for Gen Z. “Yes, I think most people can say that Covid has made mental health issues more prominent in everyone’s life. Personally, it has just made me more anxious and stressed for things that involve school, or very public things.” Megan Stremer says. Megan as well as others feel that they have experienced anxiety when it comes to going in public or school related experiences. 93 percent of students who answered the survey agreed and said that they believe they have developed mental/stress issues since COVID. Kids within Gen Z are feeling depressed, isolated, stressed, anxious and many other emotions during this hard time. 

Gen Z and SPASH students are just one group of people that have been affected by the pandemic in one way or another. With Gen Z being in a state of many changes and growing, it has made it harder for them to adjust to these life transitions and has caused a lot of stress and mental effects for them. It has been a hard adjustment, but Gen Z is strong and has pushed through all the challenges.