As August passes by, we see where colleges and universities across the country are beginning to open back up. College students are moving back on campus. Just like in the K-12 world, this will be an unprecedented school year as the country, and most of the world, still battles COVID-19. We have heard from the politicians, teachers, administrators, and talk show hosts cover the challenges of this school year. Now, it is time to hear from some students from K-12 and higher education to learn what they expect from the 2020-2021 school year.
Valerie Wang – University of Pennsylvania Class of 2024
There are many concerns about the school year, from the apparent health and safety risks to the disappointment of lack of social events and opportunities. At the same time, I’m grateful to Penn for still allowing students on campus because even meet-ups in small groups and just being on campus can do a lot for our college experience. Hopefully, students (and the general public) practice social distancing and safety guidelines to return to a relatively normal year by the spring!
Stanisha Fortson – Indiana State University Class of 2024
What I’m expecting this year is hard work, failure, success. It [will] be difficult because this time around, a pandemic struck, leaving us bamboozled. This pandemic ambushed us, causing the lives of everyone to change, drastically. I expect it to be hard, but I know others, and I will do great things, and in 10 or 20 years from now, we will be able to look back on the accomplishments we made through the roughest times.
Emily McGuire – Prairie A&M University Class of 2021
Even though I’m in college, I am looking forward to schools of all levels reopening. Growing up, I looked forward to going to school every day, as I am sure many other students do. It’s a place for one’s social, mental, and physical health to thrive. In a time like this, however, our physical health is at risk of being compromised. When it comes to schools and universities opening, I think local school administrators should make their regulations and do what they feel is best for their students. Instead of rushing to open as the U.S. did, small phases spaced out to give time to monitor potential cases can help decide when schools can go back to in-person learning. Schools are a place of learning, so by including CDC guidelines on proper social distancing techniques hand washing and mask etiquette, we get back in the classroom while lowering the curve.
Nina Banks – Ball State University Class of 2022
Most college campuses won’t be as prepared as they think they are for students returning. Since many elementary and high schools have opened up, another positive test has been confirmed on the news every day. Even this morning, as I was getting ready, I heard over the news of a high school switching to e-learning because many staff and students tested positive. So, if this is what’s happening to K-12 schools, who knows what will happen when thousands of college students all compile back in one town, I hope they don’t send everyone to school to send us right back home. That would be another mess waiting to happen, especially for students who attend school out of state.
McKenzie Murff – Indiana University Class of 2024
I expect a lot of online help and communication more than ever, as well as a little more energy in the classroom or zoom rooms because we have to make it feel as good as possible. I am also expecting a lot of things outside since indoor spaces are closed off for the most part. I feel like things will be a lot of fun because of the effort put into things to make it feel normal since it isn’t the same.
Edreece Redmond – Wabash College Class 2024
This upcoming school year, I’m expecting to get adjusted to college life and improve my time management skills. I’m very excited for my new freedom! I know that college will be challenging, but I’m ready. I hope that we won’t have to go virtual classes, and that we possibly still have a season.
In the conversation regarding school reopening, we should not neglect the voices of those students whose decisions will be drastically impacted either way. College students who dreamed of going to college and living the traditional college campus life may not have that experience this year. In April, I had the opportunity to interview three high school seniors who graduated as part of the class of 2020 on The Recces Podcast Episode 5: The Senior Class. Next week Thursday, August 20, 2020, I will be interviewing three more students, a college student, a high school junior, and a high school senior about what they think about the upcoming school year and schools reopening.
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