Let’s be frank with ourselves; this is nothing near to the college life we had imagined in our high schools. The classrooms where we thought would get exposed to modern technologies have been minimized to a laptop screen. The hostel life we thought would make us independent has again returned to our rooms, and the concerts we thought would make our eves memorable transformed into YouTube videos or Spotify streams.
A one and a half year of college life away from campus are even more than what the greatest of introverts wanted.
The train of humanity has now most probably reached the end of the tunnel. The decreasing number of cases and a massive surge in the graph of vaccinated people leaves us with rays of hope splashing on our faces: things are about to get normal.
Will it so?
A return to mask-free lives throughout the world, although, seems like a couple of years off, colleges might lead the race in getting back on track. Conditions applied, high odds in favor of reinstitution of colleges mean university students might be the first ones who would get a glimpse of where the educations system after the pandemic stands.
Significant changes implemented to smoothen the online education experience with the standardized COVID norms are there to stay for the foreseeable future. The virus isn’t going to vanish in a snap, nor will time wait for the pandemic to die.
So, what changes do we have to get accustomed to once we set foot on the campus?
- Every lecture wouldn’t be offline.
On-campus classes don’t guarantee offline lectures. Although most lectures will take place inside the classrooms, it’s better not to forget your ID and password for your online lecture portal. Witnessed in most universities that have already opened, even on a trial basis, online lectures will be held for as many courses as possible, minimizing the movement within the campus.
- COVID 19 protocols will be in place.
Sorry to say, but your daily life isn’t going to change much for at least the first two weeks once you are on campus. Colleges will introduce a minimum of 2 weeks quarantining period, done by almost all that have already reopened. It will not be surprising if COVID 19 norms are included in the Students’ Code of Conduct. Frequent testing, masks, sanitizers, gloves, and face shields won’t leave you short too.
- Free movement will be under the hammer.
Remember those days when you would ring up your friends in different hostels and set out for a quick stroll across the campus? You can always make those calls, but how much you can roam about in groups will be a matter of concern. Since human contact will be encouraged as minimum as possible, strict restrictions on getting together inside the campus shouldn’t surprise us.
Are you worried about concerts and festivals? Well, it’s better to forget them as quickly as possible. Sadly, students in the ultimate and penultimate years of their course might already have had enjoyed their last fest and concert in 2020.
- Hostel life will also get attacked.
Students globally have witnessed changes in the hostels, especially in the dorms and the dining halls. The maximum number of occupants in a particular room might be reconsidered and readjusted according to the size of rooms and space available. Seating capacity in dining halls might be reduced and mealtime increased so that the total headcount at a particular time is less than before.
In short, if everything goes well, thanks to the awful virus, we will only get to live a hazy college life, in contrast to the colorful ones we experienced, or just dreamed of, for the ones who never set feet on the campus. Leaving the decisions on the competent authority, for the time being, keeping our fingers crossed and ourselves secure are the least we can do to get our college life back.