CHUNCHEON, Jan. 18 (Korea Bizwire) — As the one-year anniversary of the first confirmed coronavirus case in South Korea nears, a return to in-person classes for college students remains elusive, prompting some to take time off instead.
Park Go-eun, a 22-year-old college student, decided to take one year off after months of consideration.
“It felt like my whole life was trapped inside a laptop. I became less and less motivated to study,” she said.
Kim Ji-yoon, another college senior, alos chose to take a semester off, saying she didn’t want to spend her final semester in front of a computer screen.
With online courses continuing as the coronavirus pandemic drags on, an increasing number of students are complaining about depression and fatigue.
The class of 2024, a cohort that started college in the year 2020, call themselves ‘unopened, second-hand products’ since they weren’t able to see their classmates, or freely roam about campus for the entire year.
High school graduates soon to become the class of 2025 are also worried.
“I’m most worried about making friends. What am I going to do if orientation and group meetings are cancelled?” said Jeong Yae-ji, a 19-year-old college freshman.
As people are spending longer hours at home, college students are trying to engage in various indoor activities to overcome depression.
A 23-year-old college student surnamed Lee started baking as a hobby.
“It takes about three hours to get the recipes prepared, make dough, and ferment it,” he said. “It keeps me busy all day. I don’t have time to be depressed.”
“Depressive symptoms stemming from the coronavirus pandemic may lead to excessive drinking and gaming addiction,” said Lee Sang-kyu, a professor of psychiatry at Hallym University Chuncheon Sacred Heart Hospital.
“If you feel depressed, you need to regain life balance by engaging in new activities.”
Ashley Song (firstname.lastname@example.org)