I’m honestly worried about undergraduates in the time of COVID-19. My years spent at college—on a brick and mortar campus attending classes in physical lecture halls—were some of the most influential years of my life. Those were my formative years. I went in there a nervous, insecure, emotionally unintelligent, rather incompetent individual and I came out of there feeling excited about life, more certain about who I was, prepared to take on the complicated social dynamics of the workplace, and just feeling more like an adult and less like a kid. And I have to tell you, it wasn’t the lessons of Biology 101 or Shakespeare or Spanish level three that did any of that. It was the experience of leaving my home, and living on a campus, and attending brick-and-mortar classrooms for four years. I’d still be a mound of undeveloped clay instead of the fully-formed human I am today if I hadn’t attended college. And I’ve seen how some of my peers who didn’t go to college, or lived at home and went to community college or just took online classes, struggled in the real world. They were, I hate to admit it, a bit behind, socially and emotionally, than those of us who left home to go to college. Students and parents aren’t happy about it. So many classes are about to be online. Kids are missing out on that campus experience. In addition to it being financially unfair, it also robs kids of a lot of important experiences like these.
They need to sleep away
Even though your 18-year-old claims she doesn’t get homesick anymore, that’s just because she’s never fully moved out. She’s gone on trips with friends for a few days or left home for two weeks for summer camp. But she needs to emotionally process leaving the nest, and understanding that, while her childhood home will always be her home, she’s on track to building an adult home, elsewhere now.