College students long for a normal year


Photo by Victoria Health on Unsplash

By Avery Lieberman, Lead Features Editor

College students have been attempting to reach normalcy at their college campuses for over a month now, but some colleges prove to be more successful than others. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, encouraged colleges to have random COVID-19 testing in place, along with a quarantine plan for students who contract the virus. Regardless of these rules that some administrators are enforcing, college students’ irresponsibility and desire to party amidst a pandemic have contributed to campuses shutting and students to be sent home. 

After spending five months in quarantine, everyone was desperate, especially college students, to get out of the house. Therefore, now that they are away from their family, they are soaking up the months of partying they missed. It’s hard to blame them. College students were stripped of a key portion of their young adult life, the time filled with partying and making mistakes. Therefore, now that students are back on campus, they are doing everything in their power to make up the time lost.  It’s a vicious cycle: college students were in quarantine, causing them to party now that they’re back on campus, but they are being sent home back into quarantine as a result of their partying. 

Some colleges prove to be more successful than others in terms of keeping the amount of COVID-19 cases down. Syracuse University, according to “Tracking COvid at U.S Colleges and Universities” from The New York Times last updated on Oct. 8, has only 124 cases on campus, while other schools such as The Ohio State University have more than 3,000 cases. Olivia Lieberman, a Syracuse University student (WE Class of ‘19) said she believes her school is doing everything in their power to keep the virus under control. 

“I would say Syracuse is handling it pretty well compared to other schools, but obviously not perfect,” Lieberman said. “We are required to wear masks everywhere except our own rooms which is a good way to keep everyone safe. But, at the same time, COVID obviously spreads so fast because there are so many people in such a small space.”

Even though the school may be doing everything in their power to keep the amount of cases down, Lieberman blamed students’ irresponsible actions as the main reason cases are present at schools. 

“A lot of the students are causing an outbreak more than the school through parties,” Lieberman said. “I guess the school can’t really control what all the students are doing, but they can crack down more on the rules if they really want to avoid parties.”

The true college experience has been tampered with a result of the pandemic, especially in terms of students’ social life. College students are expected to attend “zoom university” and social distance, rather than attend classes during the day and parties at night. This  proves to be especially hard for freshmen, who are unable to make friends because they are expected to social distance. Most schools also implemented rules where students can’t go into other people’s dorms, taking away an important aspect of the college social life. As a result, many would-be freshmen, including Danielle Schwartz (WE Class of ‘20) decided to take a gap year in hopes of experiencing a normal college experience next year. 

“I chose to take a gap year because taking online classes and being restricted socially and academically was not the freshman experience I wanted,” Schwartz said. “I decided to put it off a year so hopefully next year I can have a real college experience.”

Regardless of the college or university, students and administrators alike are still trying to strike the perfect balance between COVID-19 safety and a typical college experience in atypical times.