Should I live on college campus this fall?

I am an incoming college freshman who’s deciding whether or not I should live on campus this fall. My college is doing a hybrid model which some classes are online and smaller ones are in person.

I recently found out that all my classes will be fully online this fall. I’m not great at learning online at home so I was pretty bummed about that. The college I’m attending is located in one of the hot spots for COVID cases rn.

One of the things I’m most concerned about is missing out because a lot of my friends I made online are planning on living on campus this fall as well as my roommate. Please let me know if you guys have any advice/insights.

If anyone has any pros or cons, please list them it would be greatly appreciated

Which college? If it is in Houston, where would you actually live? You mean stay home with your parents in Cal? You can’t consider a gap year?

Rice University @Sybylla I would live on campus in the residential colleges if I were to be on campus. Otherwise, I would stay home with family (we are out of state)

I think you might watch the Harris county numbers over the next 2 weeks, maybe Houston is on the downside of this peak (I doubt it) but Rice won’t have you all turn up if Houston is on fire anyway. I assume you are locked out of a gap year with a late offer?

@Sybylla I decided that I didn’t want to take a gap year.

I would study carefully the information Rice is making available about the steps it will take to keep everybody safe, participate in any town halls they offer, etc. That will help you decide if you would be comfortable living on campus rather than at home. It sounds like you are the kind of student who would benefit from being in a residential college and having other students to study with and otherwise interact with. As I recall the residential college system at Rice, there is a faculty member who is assigned to each college and actually lives there. That should provide some additional level of comfort. Also, although Rice is in the middle of Houston, the campus itself is kind of self-contained.

@tkoparent I am relatively comfortable with living on campus. Students will only be staying there for 3 months.

If you want to do it, and your parents are also comfortable, why not give it a go then? If the people you have met online, and your roommate, will all be on campus, I can understand why you would want to be there as well and start your college career in the company of your peers. I am an expat living in a country in Asia where there haven’t been many cases. My son is a sophomore at a Midwest school that is offering both remote and on-campus options for the fall. He strongly prefers to go, and we support that decision, although it is not without risk. It seems to me that the pandemic will be a defining moment for your generation and, so long as you can do it safely, it’s not a bad idea to experience it in a college environment, rather than just hunkering down at home. That is just my view, however, and I say it with fingers crossed.

anyone else have advice?

It’s a personal decision. One could argue that you might be safer on campus than living at home if the college creates a “bubble”. Also, Rice has access to a world class medical facility in case you or your fellow students get sick.

One thing to keep in mind is that it wouldn’t surprise me if colleges eliminate most, if not all in person classes, and if so, will you be ok taking online classes on campus, at your parents house or maybe consider a gap year and have a more “normal” freshman experience next year?

Touch decision…but if you are not considering a gap year, I would choose to be with my fellow freshman on campus.

I decided to go. I think it’s good for me both socially, and having the opportunity to have some in person classes. My school is also testing every 3 days, has safety protocols and currently not a hot spot.

I wouldn’t want to miss out on a freshman experience no matter how different it will be. It may even enforce stronger friendships…surviving freshman year in a pandemic.

@Luckyjade2024 - my daughter’s college in MA is also embracing a combination hybrid approach/in-person approach. 2 of her classes will meet remotely with small group breakouts meeting in person. One of her classes will meet in person (a lab). Her school is on a quarterly system (3 class load is average). She plans living at her sorority house one block from campus, but she could commute in a pinch. She won’t start classes until 8/31 - she is a sophomore. Best of luck embarking on your college experience. Keep us posted here at CC on how things go for you.

anyone decided not to go and can list their reasons?

I have heard some students have chosen to stay at home for two reasons: a) saves them a lot of money on room & board (15K?) and b) they feel it’s safer to be at home and local instead of being far away.

Yeah those are the things I’m concerned about as well considering my college is in a hotspot right now even going to an airport makes my slightly nervous. My parents are encouraging me to stay home, but they told me it was ultimately my decision.

Thanks so much! Hope all goes well with your daughter too…

We are weighing the cost savings of staying home (90 minutes from campus), most extra-curriculars are cancelled (fall sports) or online only, versus the dorm experience (which is just postponed 3 months). Parties or large groups are discouraged. The fall on-campus experience may be very disruptive with frequent virus outbreaks.

Are schools guaranteeing they’ll stay open to in-class instruction after tenured professors contract and die from covid-19?

@glasscastle13 Curious what you decided since this is move in weekend for freshman. My D is a sophomore at Rice and is an advisor this year for freshman orientation week. She moved in Monday and was tested the morning of move in and again on Thursday. We were actually VERY pleasantly surprised by the mask wearing and distancing both on campus and in the community around Rice. I literally saw nothing that had me raising my eyebrows.

It was a hard decision for kids/families this year. Hopefully all will end up happy with whatever they decided.