NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – When COVID 19 arrived in New Mexico, a lot changed, college students were kicked out of their dorms and classes were moved online. Now a University of New Mexico professor is hoping to provide some insight into how students are coping with the pandemic.

Nearly 700 students took the survey last month. UNM wants to use the results to figure out ways to help students next school year. The survey shows a high percentage of students showed signs of anxiety and depression. Students who answered the survey say the things they stressed out about the most about are family members getting the virus, money, and uncertainty about the future.

A majority of students say they were spending more time outdoors to help cope with the stress. “It’s been a lot more stressful, I’ve been a lot more anxious to just see what life is going to be like and also continuing my education,” Yousef Othman.

“I would just go on long walks make sure I got to go outside and not stay inside all day.I would bake a lot. I learned a lot of new recipes,” says Student Yesenia Gonzalez.

Associate Psychology Professor Bruce smith believes students can find ways to be positive despite the uncertainty surrounding next semester. “What can I do that would be more beneficial for our students in the fall. What can we learn from them about what is working for people and how can we somehow use this to move to a better place,” Smith says.

Smith says the survey also showed a higher proportion of Native American and black students have had family members or friends test positive for COVID or even die from the virus. UNM is still developing a plan to bring back students to campus in the fall.