The day after freshmen move-in, videos went viral of freshmen crowding around a girl twerking in the quad. It was easily 100 kids crammed together and jumping up and down.
I wish I could say I was shocked.
As a State College resident, I long predicted that students wouldn't take the social distancing and mask-wearing seriously. But I had hoped we'd at least make it a week before a major incident.
But what's even scarier is the number of off-campus parties going on right now. Students who live in apartments are throwing parties and getting away with it because Penn State can't control what happens off-campus, even though it's their students.
And so this raises the question, whose fault is it that students are blatantly ignoring the rules in place for their safety?
Some people are blaming our underdeveloped prefrontal cortexes. Others are blaming the fact that we've been in quarantine for months and then you lump a bunch of socially starved college students together and we can't help but gather. Or even the issue is that students are coming from a variety of states and each state has its own reaction to the pandemic, either taking it seriously or shrugging it off. Sometimes people say Penn State isn't doing enough. A common theory seems to be that everyone thinks they can hang out in a group just this once and it'll be fine.
Basically, everyone has their own theory. I have no idea why students are refusing to take this seriously. And honestly? It's not important. What's important is changing minds.
The fact of the matter is it's our responsibility to pay attention to COVID guidelines. The university can make any marketing or catchy slogans, but if the students don't listen, it all amounts to nothing. If the students don't follow, State College becomes the next hotspot.
There's no other way to say it: it's our responsibility.
We need to step up and follow the guidelines.
There are so many complaints flying around about missing the normal college experience, but the normal college experience is changing, and that's okay.
Normal everything is changing, and that's OK.
It's OK, it'll all be OK.
But if you really can't live without football, remember that if you wear your mask and do your part, we can all go to the White Out game next year. But if you don't wear your mask, then who knows when the next White Out game will be.
If you want to get parts of college life that we are missing out on, you need to play for the long term. Skip the house party and watch Netflix in your dorm.
I'd be happy to recommend some good shows to binge.