Yes, you read that headline correctly. I currently live in Phoenix, Arizona and in three short weeks I will be moving up to Pennsylvania to quarantine so that I can attend Penn State in the fall.
When I originally made my decision to attend Penn State in March everything was "normal". No masks, no shortages of toilet paper, and plenty of people still traveling.
As the weeks progressed, things starting becoming less normal and more unknown. Masks were required, leaving your house was frowned upon, and you couldn't buy more than one container of hand sanitizer at the grocery store at a time.
But, my feelings didn't change. I still wanted to go to Penn State. And, for those wondering, Penn State is my dream school.
So, here we are five months into this pandemic and I am still planning on going to school over 2,000 miles away. And that's not even the craziest part. Right now, I only have two in-person classes and one of them meets only once a week. Oh and how could I forget? I will still be paying the same out-of-state tuition to take those online classes in my dorm.
After reading that you probably think I am crazy.
But I have decided that:
1. I cannot stand being with my family at home for five more months.
2. I cannot focus if I try to take these classes at home.
3. I need to be on campus to gain experiences, have freedom, make friends and form connections with faculty. Even if I have limited activities and spaces available to me.
Do I think that Penn State is handling this situation to the best of their ability? Yes. But am I happy that tuition rates are not be changed? No. Especially as an out-of-state student I have a lot of things I have to think about and hoops I have to jump through in order to be on campus in the fall.
I am still hoping that it will all be worth it in the end.