by Kianna Goss

Staying open minded is key as we return to campus this fall. 

On February 17, 2021, Bradley University President Stephen Standifird announced face-to-face learning for the Fall 2021 semester. By June 30, 2021, Standifird communicated that students and employees are not required to be fully vaccinated once returning to campus. However, the university will continue its surveillance testing for individuals who are not vaccinated, and individuals who are vaccinated are not required to wear a mask. This is a departure from the recent spring semester because the campus was not at full capacity. Only a few students had in-person classes, while the majority, including myself, were either half or fully remote.

In a previous article, I mentioned how as an exhausted college student, I missed the social life on campus. However, now that we will be moving into on-campus learning again in August after lockdowns, stay-at-home orders, frequent COVID-19 testing, and social distancing, I feel the transition back may be overwhelming. 

As a word to the wise, stay open minded this fall from “Zoom to room” as we slowly transition back. There will no longer be opportunities to be “in class” with your pajamas on, unless the pandemic has completely changed your entire wardrobe to comfy P.J.’s. Then, for vaccinated individuals, going from wearing masks 24/7 to not wearing masks at all, will seem abnormal. Honestly, I believe the idea of socializing will feel weird because most individuals missed out on a whole year of interacting with peers.

If your university’s plan is to return all students to in-person next school year, here are a few tips on how to deal with the anxiety.

According to Anne Dennon, writer for the Best Colleges website, students who are feeling extra stress should take advantage of the counseling services available to them. This could be beneficial because individuals will be able to talk with a professional about their feelings and make their transition back to campus a little easier.

Dennon also suggests informing your instructors/academic advisor of your difficulty adjusting. Students were not the only ones impacted by the pandemic, so were the professors. Therefore, having an open conversation with your professors can give them a better understanding of how to operate the classroom and be a little more aware of your feelings/concerns. 

Finally, I personally suggest finding clubs or staying active in clubs you were previously involved in. Getting back to your normal routine is key and actively doing things you love can take your mind off the stress you may be feeling. Plus, you never know who else might need the company. 

As students, we mostly know things won’t feel the same. For most of us, the classroom atmosphere will feel strange. But the goal for transitioning back to campus is to be open-minded about returning and getting back to the social side of college. If readjusting gets hard this fall, please reach out to people around you, and know it’s always okay to contact the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) 240-485-1001.

About Kianna Goss

Kianna Goss is a junior at Bradley University, majoring in journalism with a double minor in sociology and advertising with public relations. Community involvement requires the use of one’s voice; in Goss’s case, her voice, which she expresses through writing, is one of the strongest platforms she has. Being a Black woman, Goss often writes to give a voice to the Black community. In doing so, she gains control over a media narrative that portrays the Black community in a negative way. As a writer who expresses herself through many different forms expressions, she has written poetry, blogs, newspaper articles, and opinion pieces. She is always looking for more opportunities to grow as a writer and personally. Goss is involved in many organizations at Bradley University. She is currently the marketing/ communications director for Bradley’s Communication Agency, a peer mentor for the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, a writer for the student newspaper The Bradley Scout, and a caller at the Bradley Fund. Being able to explore her creativity is what Goss loves most about Bradley. The Communications department is molding her into the journalist she aspire to be.

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