Preparing for a Semester 6ft Apart
Are colleges reopening?
Colleges everywhere were forced to make an abrupt decision this Spring to move all of their classes to online learning platforms forcing students to attend what many refer to as Zoom University. Now, months after this decision was made many colleges were forced to answer the question of what will happen to the Fall ‘20 semester. Students everywhere begged that it would be back on, hoping to receive the full college experience considering the copious amounts of money students must pay said universities. Luckily, colleges have answered and as of now, nearly every college will be returning to campus for the Fall ‘20 semester! But what does this really mean for students?
In-person vs. online classes
Most colleges are allowing their students to return to campus for in-person classes with online options available. So what are the pros and cons of either choice?
Living on campus or at home
With many people out of a job and the chances of finding a job around campus limited next semester, money is definitely going to be a determining factor. Choices span from living in dorms, an off-campus apartment, commuting a few times a week, to living completely at home. Something you can do to influence your decision is talking with friends about what they’re doing, your college’s guidelines, and what’s best for your family.
Another important element is learning environments. Some students thrived this semester while others took major hits to their GPAs. Everyone’s home-life is different and in some cases, a stark difference from their college study schedule which can tilt the scales in either direction. Creating a routine that works for you can help keep productivity high and avoid burnout. Deciding what you need to succeed this upcoming semester and learning from last is key.
A major component of your college life is the independence you gain from being away from home. Being able to hang out with friends daily and enjoy the quintessential college experience is what a lot of people expect. Social distancing measures, max capacities, mandatory face coverings, and the lack of large gatherings will definitely hinder expectations. Figuring out with yourself and friends about what your priorities and options are will help you make the best out of the semester while still following CDC, state, and campus guidelines.
Most colleges are implementing a hybrid method of classes. What works best for you? Is there a difference between in-person and online for you? Knowing your learning style and finding resources that can help you is incredibly helpful in deciding what works best for you. Reach out to professors and teaching fellows to see if they recommend a specific choice for a class. Are there clubs on campus that you are interested in or are a part of? Many student organizations are going virtual so the fear of missing out on networking events is partially alleviated. Prioritize LinkedIn now more than ever!
What is it looking like?
As of the fall universities across the nation will be opening testing centers, requiring students to wear masks across campus, and cutting down class sizes to ensure that students are following proper CDC regulations while still receiving a full college education. But how will they just cut down the class size you may ask? Well, that varies by university, some have suggested opening more sessions while others have proposed splitting the class into two and having a schedule of when each half comes. 65 percent of college are planning for in-person classes as well as 11 percent that are planning for a hybrid solution according to The Chronicle so there's a good change you are going back in the fall! In the end, the truth of the matter is that these details are still up in the air by many universities.