COVID takes a toll on college students

A person walks on a college campus.
The campus at St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minn., has been more subdued with all the safety precautions implemented to help reduced the spread of COVID-19 in October 2020.
Paul Middlestaedt for MPR News 2020

COVID-19 has thrown a curve ball at college students — yet again. Some young people who expected to return to school by now are still at home starting classes online after their college postponed a return to campus amid the omicron surge. Others are back in dorms living with reinstated restrictions.

This latest setback comes on top of almost two years of disrupted campus life. If college is supposed to be a time to make friends, broaden your mind and train for a profession, what does it mean when social life is curtailed and so many academic experiences have gone online, been deferred or even canceled? 

Host Angela Davis talks about what college students are missing and how they and their institutions are coping with it. 


  • Carolyn Livingston has been vice president for student life and dean of students at Carleton College in Northfield, Minn., since 2015. She was previously senior associate vice president for campus life and Title IX coordinator for students at Emory University.

  • Matthew R. Hanson is a clinical psychologist and interim director of the Mental Health Clinic at Boynton Health at the University of Minnesota, where he’s counseled students for more than 20 years. 

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