The fall of 2020 marks a significant transition for the new generation of rising college freshmen.
It’s their first time living independently without parents or siblings surrounding them. By this time they’ve picked their dorm hall, connected with their roommates, and organized their class schedule for the fall.
While the general concept of college will remain the same, this year things will be different. Institution leaders across the country have published ordinances that they request their incoming freshmen to abide by.
As of now, roughly two-thirds of the colleges across the nation plan on implementing social distanced in-class hybrids to their fall semester. Other colleges in more at-risk locations in the nation, for example, California State Campuses, have committed to all virtual learning.
For the colleges that are opening classrooms, students will learn to adhere to the many precautions that have been put in place to minimize COVID spreading. Hallways will be marked to require a directional flow of movement. Masks will be mandatory on campus and in classrooms. All students will be seated six feet apart in class to properly social distance. Any student that contracts COVID will be expected to quarantine in their dorms.
In order to reduce student numbers in on campus living, institutions have contracted off campus apartments and hotels to house large portions of their students. Within the dorms students will have “shower times” where they register in advance for time slots to utilize the dorm wash rooms.
College has always been the pinnacle of socialization and networking. It’s quickly adapting to an antisocial environment to maintain a safe learning environment. But how will this be enforced? Will RAs stand in hallways and doorways of wash rooms to ensure that students are properly distancing from each other? What happens when a COVID positive student needs to eat but is confined to isolation in their dorm?
These are questions that will be answered throughout the transition via trial and error, but it brings into concern the likelihood of all these regulations being followed by incoming 18 year olds.