Finn Price and Kanamu Kobayashi/Staff reporter  

Graphic by Breanna Biorato.

Social isolation has been extremely difficult for many students and has been very harmful to student mental health. The lockdown has caused many to feel anxious, lonely, or deprived of human contact.  

“I feel I’m socially isolated, I gradually started to disconnect with my friends in middle school and high school,” said grade 10 student Zoey Liu. This is a common feeling for students. A few students didn’t notice a change in their mental state; however, other students had similar experiences to Liu. 

Isolation was extremely harmful to students’ mental health, as shown by the fact that nearly three quarters of high school students experienced depression and more than half experienced anxiety, but did the return to school help with feelings of loneliness and isolation? Students returning to school from hybrid learning has helped some students who struggled with mental health during lockdown like Bana Anabtawi, grade 10 student, who stated “Going back to school definitely improved on my mental health, also gave me a sense of purpose.” 

Illustration by Today

 Also, students who said they weren’t affected by the lockdown like, Damiano Zanato, a grade 10 student, who said “…but it did help with making new friends…”.  

Interestingly, a consensus among students, regardless of mental health, found the workload difficult to adapt to, Anabtawi stated “School stress and social isolation are a bad combination, so September 2021 made me feel a lot worse.”, a similar message to that of Zanato who said “… the stress level with schoolwork was quite the amount.” 

Getting involved in school activities like clubs has helped some, but not all students in Gleneagle. For instance, Liu stated “I’m in choir and am in leadership I feel like I’m more comfortable in big groups of people and talking with my teachers.”  

Picture by Greater Good Magazine

While on the other hand, students like Anabtawi and Zanato feel that getting involved in clubs and activities would be too stressful and would add onto the workload that they already have in their tight schedule. Some students say that the clubs made them feel less distant with the school community.  

Though the Covid protocols have decreased, students still feel downcast, “gradually disconnected with friends, and I felt lonely.” said Liu. Some felt that, to boost their community’s morale, they should increase Covid-safe activities such as outdoor activities, promote clubs and more. 

Though some students like Zanato stated, “I don’t think forcing the act of socializing is a good way to go about it, it may be helping some people who enjoy socializing but causing others who doesn’t like socializing to have more stress…”  

Illustration by AÉCSP

Students in Gleneagle said that they socialized less in general during Covid. Some felt that their conversation was less meaningful, and others were comfortable with having to socialize less with people. Anabtawi felt that having to socialize with people improved her mental health, she also claimed that people in her friend group had similar experiences. 

Zanato stated “… in the end, it isn’t really that beneficial to my mental health, it’s almost irrelevant, and of course I want friends and want to do things with friends, but it isn’t everything…”


Mental Health of High School Students During the COVID-19 Pandemic

mental health problems and suicidal among senior high school students


Covid mental health

depression and anxiety from school and Covid

Socialising during Covid

Transitioning going back to school with Covid