I often ask my students what they think about learning remotely. A common answer is that it’s more difficult to make new friends. When I ask what this means to them, a common answer is that they won’t have good friendships or as many friendships as before. Depending on the ages of the students, I may probe deeper. But, regardless of whether I decide to probe or not, one thing is clear, the meanings that younger people create based on their current experiences often lead to some level of mixed emotions regarding the present and future that they aren’t often taught how to handle.
It’s important to help younger people to manage their mental health during remote learning.