There are many hidden costs of covid for year 12 students.
As part of our Coronavirus & The Class of 2020 report we have been extensively covering such consequences to better understand what support these students need, and it’s time for an overview.
From shattered hopes and dreams to detrimental social isolation, here are six big ways the pandemic has disrupted one of the most defining years of young people’s lives.
1. WFH woes
In 2020, 96% of Year 12s said they had to learn remotely. 67% said it had worsened their school performance, while 79% said their mental health had been negatively impacted. Clumsy group calls and not having the right study set up at home played large parts.
“Remote learning tore my motivation down and caused many headaches and distractions,” an 18-year-old female from Victoria said.
2. No proper send-off
94% of students said that they’ve missed out on school events like carnivals, graduation ceremonies, sport and performances, with 66% saying that this negatively affected their schoolwork.
“It has made the year very difficult as we don’t have anything to look forward to or to strive for. I know this has put a strain on people, myself included, because I feel like we have really lucked out. I am less motivated with my studies which worries me about next year, and therefore my entire future,” an 18-year-old female from South Australia said.
There is also grief from missing out on a significant rite of passage, a 17-year-old female from NSW said: “It’s sad that my peers I have spent at least 6 years with won’t be able to have a proper graduation and farewell into adulthood.”
3. Halted careers
80% of Year 12s said they are worried it will be harder to find a job due to the pandemic, whether it’s because their industry is now rocky or they didn’t receive the training they need to enter the workforce.
“In 2019 a career in aviation was one of the safest jobs – pilot shortage, more travellers expected for 2020 – and I thought ‘wow, I may actually be able to achieve my dreams’. However, now this dream of mine has been turned right upside down. I am more likely to now pursue a different degree in teaching or IT,” a male 17-year-old from regional Queensland said.
4. Cancelled trips of a lifetime
70% of students said their post-school plans have changed because of the pandemic, with 64% saying they were negatively impacted. This is compared to only 7% who said they were positively impacted. 29% said they had no impact.
For instance, gap years took away their time to pause, see the world, learn something new, become more self-aware within different environments, and feel refreshed and motivated before returning to work and studies.
“Before the pandemic I was going to take a gap year and work overseas to gain real life experience, those plans were completely thrown off track. So now I have decided to go to University next year because I feel like I wouldn’t be able to get a job or internship in this economy,” an 18-year-old female from NSW said.
5. Social isolation
For what is already a high-pressure year of exams and making big life decisions, the removal of face-to-face connection spiralled some students into loneliness and unhealthy habits.
“During isolation my mental health plummeted and as I was socially isolated from my friends my coping methods were decimated. Corona led to an increase in stress, sleep problems and anxiety – one unfortunate night I ended up in the hospital presenting with self harm and an eating disorder,” a 17-year-old female from South Australia said.
6. Delays in beginning independent lives
It was supposed to be their time to soar. For many graduates, this meant finally feeling ready to leave the nest of their parent’s home, find casual work, and learn to live on their own.
“I lost both my jobs and was planning on moving out of home next year but I can’t now due to the major financial losses,” an 18-year-old female from Victoria said.