My freshman year of college came to an abrupt end when I got an email on March 11th saying I had to leave campus by March 13th. I was so sad leaving all my friends and frankly, my new life behind! I wasn't really looking forward to starting school online and having to learn from home but I knew it was for the best, and for everyone's safety (and quite frankly, I didn't really have a choice).
Much to my surprise, the semester went by fast, but so has all of quarantine really. All of my professors were really caring and made changes to their syllabus, and were very understanding. I really lucked out. I have been very blessed and haven't been severely impacted by COVID like some, but I was still very thankful that my professors adapted to the new online format and were as flexible as they were.
From what I have heard from others who I have talked to, online learning was a different experience for everyone, but everyone can agree that it was necessary. While in-person learning is highly preferred and so much better quality, for obvious reasons, most people agreed it was the only option for these trying times.
Many colleges are beginning to announce their plans for the fall and they all included different variations of being on campus, but with restrictions. Villanova, where I go to school, is going to be on campus, in person. For the most part, the biggest thing is that we have to wear face masks and outdoor classes will take place when weather allows which will allow for optimal social distancing. Also, all sorts of big events on campus are canceled.
While I am excited to return to campus, my life at college and all of my friends, I am hesitant.
COVID is still a huge threat.
I come from New York, which was once the epicenter, where we have extremely strict regulations. I am concerned about going back to school and living alongside others who come from states that are seeing a massive uprise in cases due to a lack of regulations. I am concerned that not everyone will follow the mask rule around campus. I am concerned about living in a dorm building, sharing communal bathrooms with others. What do we do about showers? Or brushing our teeth? I am concerned about when, not if someone gets sick but when, what do they do? How will they stay quarantined and isolated when most of the dorms have communal bathrooms? Will I get to see my friends a lot? Will they want to hang out as much? What is there even going to be to do on campus? What will dining halls be like? Will I have to eat every meal alone?
There are so many questions going into this semester. At the end of the day, I want to be on campus. I want to learn in person. That is the superior way. But given the circumstances and the size of college I go to, I am not sure that is for the best. Villanova is a business. They want us back on campus too so they can make revenue. But the safety of everyone needs to be kept in mind because the plan right to for the return to campus has many holes in it and raises a lot of room for error.