The financial impact of COVID-19 on young people

Anelda Knoesen wrote that COVID-19 has disrupted almost all aspects of life. People of different ages have been experiencing the impact in different ways. Young people have been among the hardest hit by the effects of the pandemic, dealing with current worries as well as uncertainty about their future. They will be battling with the longer term effects of COVID-19 – including the financial and economical impact – for some time. It could affect their personal finances, their careers, and more.

How has COVID-19 affected young people?

Without a doubt, the coronavirus pandemic has affected and continues to affect, us all. We’ll always remember the year we spent in and out of national lockdowns. People have lost work, missed school, and been unable to see friends and family – all while dealing with the worries of a global pandemic.

While there has been a sense of national unity during this period, everyone’s experience will be different. And for younger people, the pandemic has presented challenges unique to their age and stage in life. Teenagers and young adults are often at crucial milestones – such as finishing school, starting further education, getting a first job, or moving away from home.

While there’s no ‘right’ age to tick off these accomplishments, having your progress halted by a pandemic was a pretty new challenge for a generation to deal with. COVID-19 has affected young people in several ways, including:


For anyone in school, college or university, 2020 was a disruptive year. Schools were closed, classes moved online, and exams were postponed.

While it might be great fun to miss a day or two of school – with a snow day, for example – there’s quite a lot of pressure while you’re in education. Whether that’s completing coursework or preparing for your exams, having interaction with teachers and other students makes studying easier.

During large parts of the pandemic, many students were stuck at home on their own dealing with quite a few uncertainties – when they’d be able to return to school when they’d be taking their exams and so on.

Young people had to adapt quickly to online learning. Although this will have helped with the amount of school missed, it’s definitely been a cause for concern among the younger population. Research released by the British Science Association (BSA), in collaboration with One Poll, revealed the top fear among young people is the impact of COVID-19 on their education, exams, and qualifications. 81% of the 1,000 14-to-18-year olds sampled across the UK were “very or somewhat concerned.”

For university students, there are also the costs involved. You pay for your degree and your accommodation, so for students getting limited in-person learning opportunities, it’s easy to see how frustrations would build. What’s more, part of the appeal of going to university is the experience. Limited social interaction or opportunities to go out would have affected how students spent their free time. With online studying the norm, many students would have moved home.

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