The prevalence of mental health issues among the youth, in general, and college students, in particular, has been well documented. The World Health Organisation (WHO) studies report as much as one in five young adults globally has a mental health problem that can be clinically diagnosed. Within the Indian context, some of the contributing factors have been consistent across research. Factors such as economic and family conditions and a highly competitive employment market have been reported as significant stressors.

The widespread outbreak of the COVID-19, and the associated lockdown, along with strict isolation measures, and delays in starting school, colleges, and universities across the country have significantly impacted the psychological and physical well-being of college students. Various factors like the infectious nature of the virus, feelings of isolation, and uncertainty as a result of the pandemic may have exacerbated mental health concerns among students. Moreover, implementation of lockdown also meant limited outdoor activities, disruption in regular physical activity of individuals, etc., thereby, 302affecting the daily activities of individuals. Additionally, the transition from traditional learning modality to online learning may have led to an increase in screen-time and longer sitting hours.

Thus, from pedagogical and psychological perspectives, it is pertinent to examine the challenges experienced by college students. The present study aims to understand the psychological and physical impacts of COVID-19 and the associated restrictions on the college students. To this end, the data was collected from a sample of 1396 students of the University of Delhi using the survey method. Data was analysed using descriptive statistics. According to the findings, more than half of the students reported some marker indicative of psychological distress present more often than not. It was also found that lockdown and social isolation led to a feeling of loneliness, uncertainty, and increased anxiety. In terms of physical health, most students reported an increase in screen-time, unhealthy eating habits, physical ailments and decreased physical activity. The chapter discusses various domains in which the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic was seen among the student population, and makes recommendations to mitigate the adverse effects on physical and psychological health.