What is it about?

The transition to adulthood has always been challenging, but the COVID-19 pandemic has added an unprecedented level of difficulty to this process. Over the last 2 years, several young people have had to forego traditional coming-of-age experiences and put their future plans on hold. In this paper, the authors discuss the age-specific effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Through a survey of students at large research universities, they demonstrate the impact of the pandemic on education and career prospects, highlighting the problems with online modes of teaching and the obstacles faced by young people while seeking higher education and employment. Moreover, they discuss the mental health burden caused by COVID-19 and the resulting rise in the levels of anxiety and depression in this group. Finally, the authors discuss the growing involvement of the youth in political and social movements during the pandemic, including protests against the brutal murder of George Floyd, indicating mass social change in this group.

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Why is it important?

While older individuals have remained the focus of healthcare discourse during this crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the trajectory of young people’s lives in an exceptional manner. A more holistic under-standing of these effects will be instrumental in mitigating the toll the pandemic has had on the youth. KEY TAKEAWAY Although the COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging for everyone, it has especially put roadblocks in the life-cycle transitions of young people. The economic and psychological ramifications will likely be long-lasting and will especially affect the youth. Nevertheless, this period has also marked a time of social change, empowering the youth and instilling a renewed drive to fight against social injustice and participate in activism. Hence, we need to develop adequate support structures to help the youth transition into adulthood during these trying times.

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This page is a summary of: Youth Transitions in the Time of COVID-19 and Political Uprising, December 2020, De Gruyter, DOI: 10.1515/9783110718249-018.
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