How Covid-19 has changed the lives of young people around the world

COVID-19 has disrupted the lives of everyone across the world. Since the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic on March 11, 2020, staying indoors has become the ‘norm’ we have all had to come to terms with for a year, from work to home to staff on leave and online students.

For the latter, how did a year of confinement impact the students? Graduation is now a low-key virtual affair, screen fatigue is more real than ever as lessons are taught remotely and coming home is an all too familiar story. While many of us may remember our first taste of independence as a student – whether it was connecting with new classmates for a night out, to decorating your first space away from home. yourself or studying with friends – the current generation is missing out on these crucial moments. .

In October, the World Health Organization reported that COVID-19 had interrupted or disrupted mental health services in 93% of countries, a startling statistic. In order to continue discussions on the lasting effects of the pandemic, Vogue spoke to seven young people about how the past 12 unprecedented months have shaped their lives.

1. Nanako Yashiro, 19, first year programming student at Keio University, Tokyo, Japan

“As a rookie, I didn’t have the opportunity to meet new people and make new friends. Like many, I missed my longtime friends and became anxious about COVID-19 – I was afraid to walk past people outside. I stayed indoors, cried with anxiety, my hands chapped from using antibacterial gel, and I was tired of constantly being on my computer. I could not [thoughts about] the pandemic got out of my head. I have managed to cope by exercising and playing lacrosse, which I have found to be very effective in relieving stress.

2. Valentina cognini, 24, costumed intern at the Museum of the City of New York, distance learning in Verona, Italy

“I had planned to fly to Paris after New York to work on my thesis at the Azzedine Alaïa Foundation, but it all happened so quickly. Complications from health insurance forced me to leave the United States and return to Italy, my hometown. It has been one of the most difficult years of my life. I was petrified by COVID-19 because Italy had the highest death toll at one point – it was extremely frustrating not knowing anything.

“Since leaving the École du Louvre remotely in November, I have struggled to find a job in cultural institutions or in the fashion industry. However, being at home with my family has helped me a lot to cope as we have been living apart for many years. I learned to appreciate the little things and I had the chance to spend last summer with my grandparents in the countryside in the Marche [on Italy’s eastern coast]. One thing I’m grateful for during this hectic time is the emphasis on emotional well-being and mental health.

3. Samantha haran, 22, fifth year law student and language graduate, University of Queensland, Australia

“Over the past year or so, I have become somewhat disappointed with the whole concept of ‘career’ – the pandemic has made it clear that nothing is set in stone, and career success is never truly fulfilling. I attended college for most of the year, which was financially difficult and took a toll on my health, causing me to take fewer classes in my second semester.