As the new school year approaches, university students have found themselves awash in a sea of anxiety and unknowns. Some schools are returning to on-campus classes, others are continuing with online classes only.
My university has decided on a hybrid system. Some students are living in dorms or off campus apartments, and there are in-person classes available. However, while nearly all my friends are returning to campus, I am still sitting in my childhood bedroom. For me, it is simply not in the cards to return to campus amidst a pandemic, and that’s ok. I think there’s a lot of pressure on students to immediately return to “normalcy.” However, it’s important to normalize the fact that some people simply are not ready.
I wanted to explain why I have decided not to go back to my university’s campus in hopes that others will better understand why this is the best option for many students. First of all, it is statistically safer. As other schools in the U.S have begun classes, there have been spikes in cases due to a lack of social distancing. I am personally not willing to risk that. I am a very anxious person, and the possibility that, even if I am only interacting with a few friends, I could contract Covid, scares me. And it scares me more than the fear of missing out on possible quality time with my friends.
Don’t get me wrong, I am sad. This is my last year of university and I wanted to be able to have a normal experience. But unfortunately, I know myself, and I know that if I was trying to live alone in a city far away from my family, I would be isolated. I would be too anxious and frightened to leave my apartment, and I would end up much worse off. I am taking all of my classes online, and that’s okay. I am not living independently right now, and that’s okay. This generation of uni students is being tested on their strength, perseverance, and level-headedness.
Everyone simply needs to continue do what’s best for themselves.