College, for many of us, was one those times in our lives that we will never forget. The bridge between adolescence and adulthood, it will forever shape the rest our lives.
Like everything else, Covid-19 has forced universities to rethink the standard college experience. When the students were sent home back in the spring, there was a question of what would happen come the fall semester.
We now know the answer. Some colleges opened for a short time and then closed. Others have remained open, but have instituted strict policies to try to limit the spread of the disease.
The question is, why is the blame solely put on students when the universities are forced to close?
Some argue that the reason that it is purely money motivated. The money is made by charging the students (and their parents by extension) tuition. Which makes sense. At the end of the day, it is a business and it’s clients are those who are there to get an education.
The easiest finger to point is at the kids themselves. Over the last few weeks, there have been several news reports of college parties, which resulted in outbreaks. While the logic is clear to adults, I would wager that the students have a different perspective.
Going to college is more than the academic experience and the degree that follows. It is an opportunity test the waters of independence and grow outside of the confines of one’s immediate family. Being forced to go back home and attend classes virtually is not the same as being on campus.
Now granted, it was stupid to break the distancing rules, knowing full well how quickly Covid-19 can spread. But after months of being forced to stay home, I can only imagine the relief and freedom that comes with going back to the school.
That being said, the administrators who chose to re-open their schools knew what risks came with their decisions. But, they made it anyway. If there is any blame to place, it is both on the college for re-opening and the students who partied, forgetting that Covid-19 is alive and well in 2020.