Students share their distress on social media with the hashtag # EtudiantsFantômes 4

Student in front of his computer – Shutterstock

Dropping out of school, isolation, depression, precariousness… Since the start of the pandemic, they have considered themselves to be “forgotten” by the health crisis. The announcements made Thursday by the Prime Minister, Jean Castex, were not enough to calm the distress and anger of the students, who feel abandoned.

On social networks, thousands of messages denouncing isolation and educational content poorly suited to distance have multiplied in recent days. The hashtag #StudentsPhantoms, created on Twitter by students who feel forgotten and on the verge of dropping out of school, was also ranked in the top tweet on Wednesday, and has continued to gain momentum since then.

“I dropped out of college since November”

It was political science students from Montpellier who decided to create this hashtag, and to launch a collective movement on social networks. “The government infantilizes us, as if we were not more responsible than college or high school students, as if we were not sufficiently able to give our opinion”, explains Yasmine, one of the instigators of the hashtag, who has also created
the “Ghost Students” Instagram page.

More than 70,000 tweets – messages of testimony and a call for help – were published on Twitter with the hashtag #StudentsPhantoms. “I dropped out of college since November, because I can’t keep up with the same face-to-face rhythm but alone at home, with partial access to the BUs. The slightest attempt at university work causes me panic attacks. I am one of #StudentsFantoms », Explains Marlène, a student. “I’m going to start a second semester with an administration that does not answer the email or the phone. Without knowing how the lessons will go exactly, then the exams. Seeing my classmates fall one by one, ”another student also wrote on Twitter.

“The Minister of Higher Education infantilizes us by talking about sweets on RTL which further fuels the annoyance of students on social networks”, also explains Quentin, a student who contacted 20 minutes to share the confusion in which many students in France find themselves today.

“Suicidal thoughts”

“We are one in five students to have had thoughts of suicide recently, 30% to have depressive and anxious states. It’s too much and no one really takes these figures and this reality into consideration, which is dangerous, ”protests Mona for his part. According to a survey carried out on mental health at the University of Paris 3, “82.7% believe that their mental health has deteriorated this year, 74.7% of them think that the teaching conditions are favorable. something, ”also explains Scargo, an Info-Com student who posted edifying testimonies of suffering students on social networks.