At the beginning of March, my college campus was abruptly shut down and became completely virtual due to coronavirus. Now, it is August, and the campus has reopened and welcomed students into housing and onto campus with open arms.
Lots of things are different compared to the last time that campus was open, though, and it's been a struggle to navigate these changes.
Masks are virtually mandatory everywhere that you go here in the United States, as well as other countries around the world, in an effort to stop the spread of the virus. Since the use of masks is basically mandatory everywhere, students are required to wear masks when coming to campus and when outside of their dorm rooms. Students also have to fill out a daily screening before coming to campus so they can monitor their possible symptoms of COVID-19. Class sizes have been reduced and students must maintain social distancing while sitting in class or at campus dining locations. Hand sanitizer stations are every few feet in the buildings with high traffic and things are being sanitized as often as the can and need to be.
Our campus events now have capacities of half the usual capacity of 50 people. You also need to RSVP for campus events instead of just showing up.
Students can only have other FGCU students in their dorm rooms, and instead of each resident being allowed two guests, they each can only have one at a time.
While there's many changes, especially the idea of most classes becoming virtual so some students only have one class on main campus, college life is still college life.
I'm able to see my friends and still hang out with them and live an independent life. I have started cooking for me and my roommates, and we spend lots of time together, but the adventure of being a college student in a pandemic is just beginning.