Young people feeling ‘anxious and pressured’ about the easing of lockdown

Many are brimming with excitement and hope as lockdown eases, but for some people it has become the cause of anxiety and stress.

After three national lockdowns, Coronavirus restrictions are beginning to ease – a change welcomed by many. But for some it has brought worry as the social pressure to compensate for lost time has started to set in.

University of Sheffield student Jemima, 18, of Endcliffe Crescent, who didn’t want her last name noted, said: “Initially, I was actually really excited. It’s kind of changed now because I feel the need to go out at every opportunity. I’ve got the fear of missing out and straying from the ‘new normal’ as well.”

Sheffield Hallam University student Isabella Bottrell-Campbell, 19, said: “If you’re not feeling up to doing something, you don’t have that excuse of ‘I can’t go out because of Covid’ which can be a nice sort of comfort blanket sometimes.”

As hospitality opens up, some young people are battling with the pressure to say yes to every social invitation, often in order to keep up with others doing so.

Miss Bottrell-Campbell, Sheffield City Centre, said: “I think being a young person definitely does add pressure because you see everyone else your age going out, especially with social media it’s so hard to focus on just what you’re doing and not compare yourself to other people.”

Being at university also adds extra pressure to some young people who feel they need to have the so-called ‘uni experience’.

Sheffield Student Union’s Welfare Officer, Holly Ellis, said: “Students are under so much pressure because there is such a deeply rooted stereotype that all students are very much into the pub and club culture and going out loads. This is simply not the case.”

To empower students and help them to feel confident in making decisions that are right for them, Miss Ellis will be launching an ‘It’s Ok To Be You’ campaign in May for the students of Sheffield.

The student-run, confidential and anonymous listening service Sheffield Nightline is available for any Sheffield students who feel they need to discuss anxieties and stress. Their instant messaging service runs every night from 8pm-12am throughout term-time.

Written by Emma Leyva

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