In-Person Classes Have Improved Students’ Mental Health


Sophia Muce

CCSU shifted back to fully in-person classes in the fall semester of 2021.

Sophia Muce, News Editor

Some students at Central Connecticut State University said their mental health has improved since returning to in-person classes, but surveys show that the return to campus has created more issues for others.

Amanda Magyarik, a junior at CCSU, was a freshman when the campus closed and classes moved online. She said that the switch was difficult for her both socially and mentally. 

“I had only made a few friends, so I didn’t really have many people outside my family to keep in touch with,” Magyarik said. “I felt so alone, especially near the beginning.”

Magyarik found that going back to in-person classes on campus was “hugely beneficial” for her social life and state-of-mind. She works as a peer tutor at the Learning Center on campus and has made new friends in her classes. 

“Overall, I feel that in-person learning is exactly what I needed to keep away the isolation and sadness of the pandemic,” Magyarik said.

Alex Zupan, a sophomore at CCSU, was also happy about the switch back to in-person classes. She moved onto campus as a freshman in the fall semester of 2020, when the majority of classes were online, and was disappointed that the campus experience was different than she had imagined.

“It was pretty empty,” Zupan said. “It was very quiet. It was really just like the resident students that were here.”

Zupan said she was expecting to meet new people, but due to COVID-19 precautions, she didn’t get to socialize much. “Seeing no one here was just bizarre,” she said. “And then on the weekends, it was like a ghost town.”

She said she is relieved now that CCSU is back to in-person classes. “It is nice to see people back and see the campus actually lively – how it’s supposed to be,” Zupan said.

Some students like Louise and Zupan are happy to be back on campus and spending time with their peers, but the quick shift caused stress for many. When classes were online, some grew accustomed to the routine of working from home. Others found that it worsened symptoms of anxiety and depression which have carried into their in-person experience.

An online survey about college student mental health conducted by the Jed Foundation in October 2020, nearly a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, found that student mental health had worsened. Of the almost 200 students polled, 82% reported symptoms of anxiety, 68% reported feelings of loneliness, and 63% reported symptoms of depression.

While the feeling of loneliness has surely decreased since returning back to campus, anxiety and depression cannot be cured overnight. An article by Mayo Clinic Health System from Sept. 7, 2021, when CCSU students returned to campus, said “up to 44% of college students reported having symptoms of depression and anxiety.”