My room is currently covered in clothes I'm folding and decorations I'm putting together for my move-in back to Penn State in just two days. I haven't seen some of my closest friends in over five months, and I am beyond excited to finally be able to be with them again, despite current circumstances.
Over the past week, I began seeing on the news that schools including UNC, Notre Dame, and Michigan had their students pack their bags and return home due to an intense spike in COVID-19 cases. Most speculated the cause of students being sent home was due to ignorant partying.
I cannot personally wrap my head around why someone feels the need to be partying right now, there is a worldwide pandemic that has killed hundreds of thousands and infected millions of people.
Students that tell themselves they're "young and healthy" and would survive the virus anyways, forget their ignorance puts high-risk groups, their own family members, and locals from college areas in incredible danger.
Tonight I opened up a text from one of my close friends, who had a screen-recorded video taken off of Snapchat. The video showed a crowd of over 50 freshmen from my university dancing, screaming, and jumping all over the place without masks on. To complete the scene, there was a girl twerking in the middle of the group. I was absolutely appalled by the ignorance. I quickly realized the damage has already been done and COVID-19 cases were on the quick rise for Penn State Students.
My packing is at a pause for now.
As a student in the arts, I have not had the opportunity to perform in over five months. I need in-person instruction in order to grow in my classical training. It hurts me to see how inconsiderate younger students from majors they can simply complete online have acted last night.
It also hurts me to see all the new lives in danger, not only in our student body but in the college area, filled with citizens made up of families who live here permanently.
If my school has an outbreak, we have to go home, but those citizens are stuck with the damage created by students. Other musicians like myself will lose at least an additional five months of performance opportunities and in-person instruction.
We need to do better as a student body and consider the lives and wellbeing of others. Having the need to party as a priority in life over your own major, success, and health is beyond me. I am shocked and beyond disbelief at how many people simply do not care.
Your decisions affect thousands, never forget that.
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