College and COVID-19: Four Reasons Students Should Play By the Rules

college covid-19 rules

If your college has created a plan to have in-person or on-campus instruction or even, gasp, life, and you’re able to return to your college town, then by all means, do it. But you’re going to have to play by the college COVID-19 rules.

By agreeing to return to campus this fall, you have to walk the walk. In fact, by agreeing to attend a college or university, you’re bound by their rules, even if we’re not layering on pandemic infections. There’s just new and different ones on top of the already applicable rules.

So, let’s get this part of the article out of the way. This isn’t a political post. I’m not calling for closing schools, or going completely online. I’m in favor of moderated, smart (see our company name), and safe education, and I always have been, pandemic or not.

RELATED: Colleges, Universities, and Higher Learning: Plan, Prepare, and Respond from the CDC

So why should you follow those rules? Isn’t it ok if you just forgot your mask on the way to an in-person lecture just once? Or you’re pretty sure your friend’s friend can sleep on your common room’s sofa? Or you really just NEED to get out of town and there’s no breaks at ALL until Thanksgiving? Isn’t that ok?

It’s not, no. We know you’re trying to live, as the slang term goes, but that university is, actually, trying to make sure you, and your community, literally stays alive.

Consider these factors.

1. Your college town has more than just students

I know college campuses can be a bit of a bubble. You’re surrounded by people between the ages of 18 and 23. But if you venture off campus, you’re going to find kids, old people, and babies. Yes, even babies! And those pieces of your college community call your college town “home.” They CAN’T leave if infection rates skyrocket. And those are the people you’re seeing in grocery stores, post offices, and restaurants. They live and work there. If their hospitals are full, where do they go?

Consider those people, outside of the college bubble. The relationship between “townies” and college students is even more important this year. Respect it.

2. You don’t want to go home again

If you’re a freshman, and this is your first time leaving home, you want to stay at school for as long as you can. Everyone wants you to have that college experience you so deserve!

If you’re an upperclassman who got sent home in March, do you really want a replay of that? You don’t. We know. You, too, need your college experience. Is it like it was before COVID-19 came to town? Nope. But it’s better than living at home with your brother who is hogging the WiFi.

Speaking on behalf of your parents, it was great to have you home again. But we know it’s not where you’re supposed to be. We want you to have the lives you’re building. Stay smart and you’ll be able to continue living them.

3. The rules are there so you can focus on other things

Believe me, a lot of people at your university have been spending a lot of time coming up with the college COVID-19 rules they’ve put in place. They’ve talked to the college’s staff, experts, health officials, local officials, and community members. Together, they’ve made the best, most workable plan possible for your specific college’s situation.

Your school has done this so that you don’t have to do the same thing. Mitigating the risks involved in the Coronavirus situation is not easy. So listen to their rules and recommendations and follow them. And then do the other stuff you’re actually there to do.

Be aware if things change too. Keep an eye on the apps and websites that have been developed. Feeling yucky? Don’t ignore it. Self awareness is super important.

RELATED: COVID-19: 5 Things That Will Be Different on Campus This Year

4. A positive outlook can actually make you happier

Not to be all sunshine and rainbows, but looking at this situation in a positive light can make your mood and attitude better. You may not like it, but accepting it and weighing the options (see #2 again) will make you happier.

We’re going to be managing various levels of risk for a long time. It’s not an on-or-off, black-or-white situation. So find a positive attitude in the shades of gray.

In the long game, students, while those college COVID-19 rules might be a bit of an eye roll, please take it seriously. We want you to stay healthy, and your community to stay healthy too.

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