The corona crisis has turned the lives of many upside down. Also for a student, life seems very different than in a normal spring. Universities and libraries are closed, lectures are held online, and student lunches are eaten at home as takeaway. There are no shared coffee moments on campus, and no traditional May Day celebrations.

The loneliness experienced by students has been on the rise throughout the 2000s. More than every fourth student feels lonely from time to time, and some seven per cent of university students experience loneliness often. Social isolation and distancing may increase the feelings of loneliness even more.

The feeling of togetherness is still important at a time when physical gatherings are not a possibility. The theme of this year’s Students’ Mental Health Day (23 April) is friendship and community. A community can also be built online, as shown by the remote events organized by many student organizations. Everyone can be present and ask how a friend is doing.

This uncertain situation brings on a lot of different feelings: fear, frustration, even sorrow. For some, isolation doesn’t feel like a big deal, and that’s natural too. During the corona spring, remember to be a friend to yourself, as well, and listen to how you’re doing.

Friendship and community spirit won’t solve all problems caused by the corona crisis, but they are helping us to cope better even in these exceptional circumstances.

Sanni Lehtinen
President, Students’ Mental Health Association Nyyti ry

Read more about the campaign: #Letsdosomething -Students´ Mental Health Day 2020

Picture: Salla Merikukka

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