Which generation suffers the most

Pandemic consequences Generation Corona: A life full of limitations

Far away: discover the world and have a party

"After graduating from high school, I actually wanted to travel and do something with friends first," says Josephine. To experience something that she had no chance of before. After a summer of idleness and boredom, she finally moves into a shared apartment with a school friend. A little later she begins to study religious studies.

But the restrictions remain: instead of a freshman party and encounters with new people, there are only meetings in small groups - still with school friends. Leisure offers are in short supply. A chat in the kitchen is the highlight of the week for the students.

"You have the feeling that you might have missed a few things," says Emi, a friend of Josephine's, who is visiting in September. Sure, it could have been worse. "I think Corona is putting us to the test," says Josephine, trying to get something positive out of it all. You would have to deal with an unprecedented situation at a young age. "You see it so closely because it really influences and affects us extremely."

Survey: Young people feel deprived of their prime

80 percent of young adults feel deprived of an important phase in their lives. This is the result of a survey by the opinion barometer MDRfragt. Nationwide studies by the Universities of Hildesheim and Frankfurt come to similar results. In 2020, the sociologist Severine Thomas and her colleagues asked around 7,000 young adults twice about the psychological effects of the corona restrictions.

"One underestimates the fact that exchanging ideas with one's own age group and with friends is extremely important," says Severine Thomas. The young people surveyed felt lonely at times. It was also clear from their responses that some were seeing their prime flooding away. "This acting out in the field of hobbies is enormously important for young people to try out. Acting in the theater, making music, doing sports." To be slowed down there is a devastating feeling.

Study in bed and at the desk instead of in the lecture hall and cafeteria

There are also other hurdles: The worst case occurred for Josephine from November onwards. She experienced a lockdown shortly after starting her studies. "I've never studied, I don't know how it works and then I have to sneak into it myself," she says. She does not meet her fellow students. She only really has contact with a few people - her two flatmates and her family.

Since then, Josephine's degree in religious studies at the University of Leipzig has consisted of video conferences and online seminars. The 18-year-old finds it difficult to concentrate on that. She is constantly distracted, writing messages while her lecturer talks in a small tile on the screen. It lacks the structure. Every day is the same, says Josephine. There is hardly any variety. Instead of going to the cafeteria and lecture hall, your freshmen will take place in bed and at your desk.

According to the MDR survey, the majority of people under 30 believe that the Corona crisis will put them at a disadvantage in their professional lives. This coincides with the studies at the University of Hildesheim. "Around 60 percent say: 'I'm afraid of the future'", reports Severine Thomas. "This is a very drastic result, which in our opinion has to be taken very seriously."