Social life since the pandemic

How have social interactions and relationships changed for students since the pandemic started?

Kira Weinger, Staff writer

Nothing like this has ever happened to this generation. Everyone’s just trying their best to keep everything as normal as possible but since the pandemic began, a number of things have changed. The COVID-19 guidelines such as social distancing or wearing masks at all times make it difficult to keep things the same as before. 

 

Before the pandemic started lots of teens used to go to the mall, each other’s houses, the movies, or a place to eat. Freshman, Marisa Seghieri says, “Because of the pandemic, we’ll either go to a park, or hang out in the backyard of someone’s house, but we can’t go inside.” Some teens can’t visit their friends because they or their parents are worried about COVID-19.

 

“My kids are required to take precautions (masks, washing, etc…) whenever they see their friends.” Says Steve Dick, student parent. “I would prefer that they only see the same people over again.” Teens are trying to follow COVID-19 guidelines. 11th grader Mady Rainey states, “I do follow Covid guidelines but I know my friends stay safe around others and at stores, so we are a little lax on it.” 

 

A study by Science magazine states, “Lack of social connection is a greater detriment to health than obesity, smoking and high blood pressure.” Social connection is a big part of all our lives and has a huge impact on our well-being. Steve Dick, a student’s parent, says “Humans are social beings that grow and evolve from contact and friendships with others.”

 

“Well, I definitely hung out with my friends a lot more before the pandemic, because it’s safer to do so we would hang out after school and go places,” Marisa Seghieri said. “Now I try and see them at most, like, once a week or so. It depends. It’s really hard, so I don’t see them nearly as often.” Finding things to do, places to go, and friends who are willing to hang out, has become more difficult. 

 

After not seeing or talking to your friends for a period of time, regular conversation may have changed. “I think our conversations have just shifted topics. You know, we would always talk about school, like oh, this happened at school or oh my gosh it was crazy, you know.” says Marisa Seghieri. “But now it’s like, oh, do you have the homework? It’s just different and the topics have become more basic.”

 

Compared to most upperclassmen who have already known a lot of their classmates for at least a year now, freshmen may find it harder to socialize. “It’s harder online, definitely, especially as a freshman because you’re not only trying to meet new people, you’re learning new material at a new school, online. So there’s a lot of struggle.” says Marisa Seghieri.

 

Once the pandemic starts to come to a close and schools start to reopen, some students think interactions may be different then how they were before. “I think for my closest friends it won’t be different and we will just want to see each other and hug again but for some friends that I don’t know as well it might be a little weird for a while.” says Mady Reiney.

 

Steve Dick says “We have spent much more time with our children now than before shelter-in-place. I work from home now and the kids are home while they are in school.” Due to the lack of places to go and people to see, teens have more time to bond with family members. “We are able to spend more time together and talk about school more often.”

 

Teens should follow COVID-19 guidelines and stay safe and healthy, but also remember to keep in touch with your friends because that is just as important.