Youth Network | Black Creek Youth Initiative | Toronto

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How covid-19 has Impacted Important Milestones for Youth

How covid-19 has Impacted Important Milestones for Youth

The COVID-19 pandemic has disturbed and will keep on interfering with the existences of teenagers in such countless ways, including missing or deferring achievements that such countless adolescents anticipate. For secondary school seniors, most conventional occasions denoting the perfection of their secondary school vocations, like prom, spring break, senior week get away and graduation services, have been cancelled. High schoolers intending to go to college can’t visit grounds to help them in settling on their decisions. For competitors, there has been no spring season and for music and dramatic specialists, there will be no last exhibitions.

Benchmark birthday events like sweet sixteen, and turning 18 are being isolated and related achievements, for example, getting a driver’s licence or permit are postponed.

Some secondary school students participate in summer entry level positions or projects to fabricate encounters to reinforce their school applications. Others go after summer positions or work after graduation. Such freedoms will probably be deferred, or possibly missed out on.


Participation in activities such as prom, graduation, sports competitions, and theater and musical performances, promotes positive adjustment by providing opportunities for adolescents to build and develop peer relationships.

This is necessary for teens as they shift their social interactions from family- focused to peer-focused. Milestones are key for typical adolescent development, and it’s through participating in them that teens become more independent by developing cognitive, social, emotional and academic skills that prepare them for adulthood.

Involvement on sports teams or in extracurricular activities or holding a job can facilitate this development and teach teens about cooperation with others, planning and organizing their time, responsibility, and resolving issues that arise outside of the home.


Adolescents are experiencing other significant changes in their lives as a result of COVID-19, including financial stress, safety concerns for self and family, educational changes, and social and physical distancing. These changes, coupled with disrupted milestones, may lead youth to experience feelings of loss and a range of emotions, such as disappointment, sadness, anger, frustration and anxiety, which are likely echoed by their family members who were looking forward to the same events. Teens dedicate time and energy to graduate, to compete in a sport, and to perform or display their art, and they may perceive that now there is no reward for their hard work. For some adolescents, there may be a loss of motivation to continue to work towards their previously established goals and they may begin questioning whether they should continue on their intended path.



For others, there may be a sense of anxiety for these missed milestones, with teens questioning whether this loss will negatively impact their future. If teens are not able to work in the summer, the financial stability of their household may be impacted. Because they are not playing sports, teens are missing opportunities to continue their physical conditioning and to participate in summer leagues, which could impact their potential for college recruitment. For youth already experiencing behavioral health problems, these missed milestones are a particular concern. The cancellation of activities can reinforce symptoms of depression, such as sadness, low motivation and social withdrawal.


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