Mental Effects of COVID-19 on University Students

Slides by Toyin Awosanya

Visit here to view Toyin’s presentation

The COVID-19 virus has spread quickly and took the world by storm. Many countries were unprepared to face this situation, especially in the United States. My research question for this project is, how college students are mentally dealing with school during the COVID-19 pandemic in Indianapolis, Indiana? This project is important to me because I am a student and addressing how the pandemic has impacted student’s mental health is something that should be
addressed because mental health is a subject not commonly discussed. Essentially, the argument that I am making is that inattention to COVID-19 has caused a negative impact on students’ mental health. The pandemic has impacted students all over the globe by forcing them to get their education mostly online. I am curious to know how students are dealing mentally with the pandemic because most students are home or live on their own and do not communicate with others out of the digital realm.

Moreover, there was some conflict in the beginning of the lockdown on whether students should return to school in the Fall and issues with implementing the school curriculum online. During the beginning of the pandemic, students in my hometown strongly voiced their concerns and opinions on how the universities they attended were managing things. These questions and concerns were of main concern in the Spring semester of 2020, which has been over a year ago since official lockdown and stay at home orders. Additionally, in 2021 Indianapolis is continuing to conform to the COVID-19 safety protocols and college students are nearing the end of another academic school year. I believe it would be interesting for this project to do research and document student’s current beliefs and see how they are doing mentally a year later.

In this project I utilized peer-reviewed academic literature and articles, CDC reports and news articles to aid in my research and support my research on how the pandemic influenced students’ mental health and COVID-19 statistics. I also conducted Zoom observation and interviews with college students from my hometown Indianapolis, Indiana to collect verbal accounts of their experiences, behaviors, and attitudes during the pandemic.


Cindy H. Liu, Stephanie Pinder-Amaker, Hyeouk “Chris” Hahm & Justin A. Chen (2020). Priorities for addressing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on college student mental health, Journal of American College Health, DOI: 10.1080/07448481.2020.1803882

“Coronavirus (COVID-19) Frequently Asked Questions.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, April 2, 2021.

Czeisler MÉ , Lane RI, Petrosky E, et al. Mental Health, Substance Use, and Suicidal Ideation During the COVID-19 Pandemic — United States, June 24–30, 2020. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2020;69:1049–1057. DOI: icon.

Kuehn BM. Pandemic’s Mental Health Toll Grows. JAMA. 2020;324(12):1130.

Langin, Katie. (2020). As the pandemic erodes grad student mental health, academics sound the alarm. Science (American Association for the Advancement of Science), Science (American Association for the Advancement of Science), 2020-09-04.

The New York Times. “Indiana Coronavirus Map and Case Count.” The New York Times. The New York Times, April 1, 2020.

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