Nowadays, people live in a world that is rapidly developing and changing. Progress notably affects students as they regularly receive updated information, test new teaching methods, research, and look at the latest discoveries. However, in addition to the gradual overall progress, society faced unexpected difficulties caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. The pandemic has had a profound impact on all spheres of life, such as the economy, health care, and tourism; the virus has affected marketing and advertising, human values, workflow, and especially studies. People were forced to swiftly make changes in the educational process, adapting to the new reality. Students have experienced tremendous challenges in changing the learning process; however, despite great concern about the pandemic, it can be noted that the changes have demonstrated new methods and paths that have their benefits.
The COVID-19 outbreak has made adjustments in student life, and although the time of lockdowns has passed, pandemic restrictions have firmly imprinted on the educational process. New complexities have been added to the existing ones, such as pressure, competition, entering adulthood, and becoming an independent person capable of combining study, work, and social life. Students face online learning, which presupposes more independence and the need to manage time correctly. Being on your own, you need to be able to self-organize, learn effectively and have the skills to disassemble the educational material independently. Restrictions affected students’ academic performance and achievement because not everyone was able to adapt quickly. In addition, COVID-19 has impacted mental health: isolation and lack of social life had consequences such as increased stress, anxiety, and dissatisfaction with life. Moreover, the pandemic has had a significant impact on the economy, depriving students of potential jobs. Many companies were forced to cut their jobs or automate the process as much as possible. Being a student now is about facing the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak daily, recovering from restrictions, and adapting to changes.
However, these consequences and innovations have apparent advantages, especially for young people who find it easier to adapt. The pandemic has contributed to the rapid adoption of e-learning, which, despite its complexities, has its advantages. Students can save their time and study at their own pace, and online learning also saves money by not spending on dorms and studying from home. Moreover, isolation has led to the emergence of various online courses and lessons. People have begun to communicate online for more time, and social networks offer many ways to self-actualize. Many young people suffer from bullying, feel out of place, or are embarrassed to express themselves, and social media offers a safe place to be on their own and find people with their interests. E-learning gives more time to combine study with work, which can also be done remotely. After the lockdowns, many companies switched to remote work, and e-recruitment gained popularity. Students can find a part-time job from home without attending an interview, which helps save time. The advantages of students today are the skills of flexibility, independence, and the ability to self-develop, study, and work without leaving home.
The pandemic has significantly influenced the current society, and adaptation to the new reality has both difficulties and advantages. In this challenging time, I would advise friends to be strong and optimistic. It would be best to learn to cope with pressure and avoid burnout and seek help when you feel severe stress. It is important to remember that, despite the limitations, many new opportunities have appeared. In our time, it is possible to become the person you want to be because we have all the necessary resources. You need to keep up with the times, gain digital literacy and use technology to your advantage.