College campuses have been closed since March, forcing students to adjust to online learning and virtual classes almost immediately. This was a transition no one was prepared for. The spread of the Coronavirus was unexpected and quickly changed the lives of millions of college students globally. While some students anxiously await their school to release a statement regarding the fall semester, other schools have already put a plan in place. Many universities intend to bring students back to campus and resume classes in a unique format. Some are opting for a hybrid method, some entirely remote while also offering an on-campus residential option. You want to get the college experience, but what if you’re not entirely ready to go back to college? For some students, especially those with underlying health conditions, this is a true concern.
Prior to deciding what you need in order to feel most comfortable, make sure you have all of the facts offered by your college or university. Most schools are updating their plans weekly, while some are releasing statements daily. The plans are ever-changing as new information is released and guidelines are updated. This can make it hard to prepare for what your fall semester will look like. Reach out to your school’s residential and student life office and ask any questions you may need. Will they be offering a remote option? What will dining on-campus look like? Is testing going to be available? They may not have all of the answers, but hopefully, you will gain more information to help you prepare.
Ultimately, you must do what you feel most comfortable with. This is especially true if you are at high risk and need to take even more strict precautions. Ask yourself what you are willing to do and how much possible exposure you are okay with. Speak with parents, friends, and if needed, healthcare providers to structure a plan that will keep you safe and at ease while attending school next month.
While many institutions are taking a variety of safety precautions, it is smart to explore alternatives that will best suit your comfort level. For example, is there an option for single housing on your campus? Do some dorms have a kitchen so that you can prepare your own meals? Are there nearby apartments that rent to college students? If you are feeling uneasy about making your return, explore accommodations that can make the transition a bit easier for you.
If you are experiencing anxiety and fear over returning to college, this is completely understandable! Build your knowledge on what your school is doing to implement safety measures, watch for case numbers and spikes in your college town, practice proper quarantine methods, and explore options that will customize this unique experience in a way that will make you comfortable. The college experience is important, but so is your safety and peace of mind. Talk to friends, professors, and classmates about what they plan on doing to stay safe. While college will look very different in the fall, remind yourself that it is okay to seek unique options in any way you see fit.