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How the Coronavirus Pandemic Impacted Irish Students’ Lives, Mental Wellbeing, and Education

Carolan, Hayley (2022) How the Coronavirus Pandemic Impacted Irish Students’ Lives, Mental Wellbeing, and Education. Undergraduate thesis, Dublin, National College of Ireland.

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Background: As the Covid-19 virus reached pandemic level life as we knew it changed. All educational establishments closed, resulting in students commencing online learning. The current study aimed to explore first-hand experiences of how 1st and final year college students coped with challenging times in their lives from an educational, mental health and social aspect.

Methods: Participants were recruited through convenience sampling using social media as well as snowball sampling (N=10). Participants were either 1st or final year college students from Dublin. Participants ages ranged from 18-23 years. This study used a qualitative analysis therefore semi structured interviews were carried out online through Microsoft Word to explore participants first hand experiences. Braun and Clarkes inductive thematic analysis approach was used to analyse the data.

Results: Following the thematic analysis approach, five key themes were identified: (i) Adjustment to online learning, (ii) Preference towards in person learning and delayed communication online, (iii) Lack of emotional support and the importance of meaningful connections, (iv) Missed opportunities and negative thoughts, (v) Anxiety provoked thoughts and being more mindful of others.

Discussion: The impact of Covid-19 resulted in increased anxiety, stress and loneliness. Lack of personal interactions and emotional support led the participants to an overwhelming time which very often resulted in negative thoughts. Young people also became more mindful of the vulnerable in society. Participants favoured in person learning as opposed to online but if given the choice the majority of participants would choose a hybrid model. Students discussed how they found the recorded lectures a great advantage and also discussed how they save time and money on travel which was a great benefit while online. Concerns addressed relating to online learning were poor Wi-Fi connectivity, lack of support from peers and lecturers and delayed communication.

Item Type: Thesis (Undergraduate)
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA790 Mental Health
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > Psychology > Stress (Psychology)
Divisions: School of Business > BA (Honours) in Psychology
Depositing User: Clara Chan
Date Deposited: 21 Sep 2022 15:23
Last Modified: 21 Sep 2022 15:23

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