Challenges for youth in the Netherlands during the Covid-19 pandemic

By Menthe Broeren

During the peak of Covid-19 in the Netherlands, we experienced a partial lockdown. Although restaurants, theatres and schools were shut, we were still allowed to go out. People were asked to work from home as much as possible. However, those professions involving direct physical contact were not allowed to continue. But now, life in the Netherlands is almost back to normal: schools are open again and we can see friends.

Just like the rest of the world, the youth in the Netherlands faced many challenges during the partial lockdown. Among these challenges, the most common were not being able to see family and friends, staying motivated for (online) school, and worrying about sick friends and family.

Loneliness

Going to parties, playing football together, making music with others, having fun at school or just relaxing with family and friends – almost every activity became impossible to do under lockdown. Young people in my country felt very lonely. They couldn’t do the things they loved the most. The only activity that was left was online school, which was not very exciting.

Lack of Motivation

It was very difficult to stay motivated for school for many young people. There were a lot of distractions at home, and the absence of a teacher to provide guidance made it all the more difficult. Many young people did not have a quiet place at home where they could really focus on their work. On top of all that, attending school virtually is much less interesting due to the absence of friends and classmates they could talk to between lessons.

Worry

For a while, the news regarding the pandemic was negative and focused on sickness and deaths. As a result, young people worried about people they knew who were sick.

Young people felt quite lonely and felt that they could not do the things they love but we are in this together. I believe that we can get through this difficult time together!

 

Menthe Broeren is a member of Child Helpline International’s #Youth advisory council.