As we’ve heard from our Prime Minister and a chorus of global leaders, the COVID-19 pandemic has led the world into unprecedented times. It can be difficult to pin down what directives like ‘social distancing’, ‘self-isolating’ and ‘quarantine’ mean, let alone know how to follow them. Ari Moore shares how her household is approaching communal spaces, groceries, finances, setting boundaries, and more.

As a person who has navigated the world of share housing for the better part of the ten years (and still lives in one), I’ve come up with some common share house issues that might arise during all three of these scenarios. The take-home message is not to simply keep your distance, it’s also to be considerate.

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Ari social distancing at home on her balcony in Hobart, Tasmania | Source: Ari Moore

What if you have a housemate who refuses to maintain social distance?

We’ve all seen photos of people who have decided to ignore the advice to avoid unnecessary mass gatherings. …


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Young person raising hand | Source: Unsplash

Hand-washing and sanitiser are getting a lot of airtime lately. When you have Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), following public health advice gets a lot more complicated. Nicole Liko speaks to Abigail about what it’s like to have Contamination OCD during an international virus outbreak and gets advice on healthy practices from a psychologist experienced in treating the illness.

With such hype over COVID-19, it’s easy to forget that the world goes on and there are still young people suffering from all sorts of different illnesses. Especially illnesses where mass fear and anxiety can pose great risk as well. I was diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) back in 2018, and while my compulsions are more mental than physical, the nationwide hysteria right now is enough to have me ruminating over my every move.

Right now, according to SANE Australia, 500,000 Australians suffer from OCD. And 25% of those have Contamination OCD, one of the most common subtypes.

So what’s Contamination OCD?

To…


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Social distancing. Caring for others at risk. Jobs changed, jobs lost. For Jordan and three of his mates, a lot has changed in the past two weeks. Here’s how the COVID-19 outbreak is impacting their lives and how they’re dealing with it.

This story may contain challenging themes. If these subjects raise concerns for you, please contact your relevant support services.

It didn’t feel real for me until Friday 13 March. My co-workers and I received the call that the office would be working from home for the foreseeable future. Leading up to that point, I thought this was all a topical joke. People bulk-buying groceries and supplies. Stocks of toilet paper and hand sanitiser diminishing. Real zombie-apocalypse kind of behaviour. Maybe it wouldn’t feel real to any of us until we were personally affected or knew someone who was?

Thus far…


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Ciarn in Dumb Punts plays the North Wollongong Hotel, NSW | Source: Ciarn Gallagher

As a musician who works in events, Ciarn Gallagher’s world has been turned upside down by the spread of COVID-19. Here’s how things are playing out for Ciarn; how she’s doing being in self-isolation unable to work and do the things she loves.

In light of the current situation taking place in Australia and all around the world it seems it would be easy to write about how you’re feeling, but for me, it truly is not the case.

I feel fine, my health is perfectly good and I have had no close encounters with anyone who has had their health affected by it. However, my mental wellbeing is definitely being tested at the moment because, to be honest, I really don’t know what to think of this whole situation and I’m usually the kind of person to rationalise everything going on around…


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Young people chatting in nature | Source: Unsplash

Like many, Susie Ray tends to find the good in people. But she doesn’t always get it right. Here’s Susie’s experience of being in an unhealthy relationship and how she saw the signs to move on from it.

This story contains themes of abuse. If these subjects raise any concerns for you, please contact the relevant Australian support services listed here.

I tend to look beyond the bad and give concessions. While giving people a chance in life is so important, when it comes to relationships, I often hand out too many chances. I always thought the word ‘toxic’ sounded too extreme when in fact I faced these situations more than I realised.

What are toxic relationships?

Toxic relationships can manifest in completely different ways as we all express ourselves differently But in essence, they are relationships — platonic or romantic —…


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A contemplative young person in park | Source: Unsplash

As Emma Maidens graduated from high school, met new friends and started working, she found she was up against some sturdy stigma. Here’s how she navigated being treated differently based on where she went to school.

High school leaves you with many things. There are the positives, like a Year 12 certificate, lifelong friends and the ability to forge your parents’ signatures under pressure (I haven’t needed this skill since graduating, but I’m sure the day will come).

There are also the negatives: unwanted nicknames, scars from woodwork class and, for most, a pure hatred for any and all maths involving letters.

While it’s a mixed bag of takeaways, one I wasn’t prepared for was the public school kid stereotype that’s followed me into new workplaces and friendship circles.

“Did people have sex in the toilets…


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Group of young men playing basketball outside | Source: Unsplash

Phoebe McShane’s brother George was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) when they were both young. Big into basketball, Phoebe wanted George to play but found that many of the sports and activities he tried weren’t inclusive. She sought to change that, for George and for others with ASD in their local community.

My brother was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) when he was four-and-a-half years old. I was six-and-a-half. Obviously, being so young I couldn’t quite comprehend what this meant, but mum and dad told me that his brain just works differently to mine. George has high functioning autism, meaning he can speak, read and write without much difficulty, but struggles in social interaction.

It was hard for George to find something he loved

As George got older and started school and extracurricular activities such as sports, it became harder for him. …


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Young people take selfie by the river | Source: Unsplash

We never imagine the people closest to us could cause harm to others. For Kay, this was a difficult but powerful lesson to learn about relationships. Here’s Kay’s story.

This story contains themes of abuse and mental ill health. If these subjects raise any concerns for you, please contact the relevant support services in Australia listed here. Names have been changed for privacy.

When we imagine abusive partners, we often imagine the most horrible human being — they’re selfish, controlling, incapable of loving or being loved. How can they possibly have friends?

Nothing brightens a soul quite like that friend who shares the glow of your happiness and is there for you when you’re going through a rough time. Martin was that friend for me.

It’s incredible how quickly…


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Young people laughing, sitting at a table with laptops and a notepad | Source: Unsplash

Jess Bahr loved her days at university, but there are a few things she’d change if she had her time again. Get ready to coast into uni life thanks to Jess’ helpful reflections on her own experiences.

When I look back on my own years at uni, I can safely say it was the best time of my life.

However, while I made some great decisions and had a lot of fun, I also made a few mistakes and learned a lot along the way. Let’s just say that if I could go back in time, I would have a few words of advice for my younger self. Here they are.

1. Get involved with clubs and societies

Sure, studying is important, but universities have much more to offer than pure academics. In my opinion, clubs and societies are some of the best things…


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Young person posts a photo of Kobe Bryant’s famous #24 singlet | Via Unsplash

We may not have known them personally, but sometimes it can feel like we did. As the world grieves the late NBA superstar Kobe Bryant, Nicole Liko explores why celebrity deaths hit us harder than we might expect.

This story contains themes of grief, loss and violence. If these subjects raise any concerns for you, please contact the relevant support services listed here.

Grief comes in many different forms for different people. But in most cases, you’re surrounded by love and support from other people who are either close to you or who have also been affected by the passing of your loved one. You’re there for all the funeral arrangements, you’re part of the entire process, and when it’s all over, the adrenaline settles and you really have time to grieve. …

The Foundation for Young Australians

FYA support young people to tell stories about the things that matter to them, in their own voices. Got something to say? Pitch us at newsroom@fya.org.au

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