Returning to school is a big unknown for all ages, but for students returning to college, even more of their life is poised to be upended. Colleges and universities across the United States are putting together plans for the fall semester and how they can best support their students. But given the uncertainty, it is best to stay flexible and consider your options.
Both incoming freshman as well as returning students have the opportunity to take a semester or year off. Though many wish to spend gap years working or traveling the world, but while travel is restricted, there are still opportunities within the United States. World Wide Opportunites on Organic Farms (WWOOF), a common gap year activity, operates within the U.S. too, so you don’t have to travel abroad to have a cool experience. One of the bonuses of going to college is independence, and that doesn't have to be lost because of COVID-19. WWOOFing allows you to move out and work, helping find some of the independence college offers. Working outdoors can allow you to escape sometimes stifling COVID-19 life and get fresh air and sun. If you do work outdoors, don’t forget to wear BRUSH ON BLOCK®!
Students who do choose to continue with classes face the challenges of online learning versus in-person learning. They also face the decision of returning to campus or not. Some schools are opening dorms with stricter rules on company and contact. Students have the option to move into apartments nearby, not affiliated with their school but still allowing them to live in a college-like setting and experience some independence. Still other students will continue to learn from home, taking advantage of home cooking and family pets. Important in any of these scenarios is finding safe was to still socialize with friends. Late summer and fall, as classes resume, offer opportunities to be outside. Backyards, parks, and campus quads are all great places to meet and mingle with friends. Some professors may choose to hold in-person classes outside to allow for great social-distancing. Even if classes are online, meeting outside for homework can be a nice way to be productive and social, mimicking aspects of college life. And of course, if you are spending afternoons outside with friends, don’t forget your Brush On Block, especially if you are wearing a mask. No one wants a mask-face tan!