Something or nothing — you choose

Following COVID-19 guidelines is the best way to have a semester at all

Michael Sicoli, Associate Opinion Editor

Isn’t it so good to be back?

The feeling that you had when you saw your roommate for the first time in months. The stupid smile that crept across your face when you walked across the quad. The pure joy that you felt when you spent that first night back on campus, laying down and realizing that it was only the first day with so many great nights to unfold.

Now imagine being sent home to live the next few months away from all of that.

Quinnipiac University’s COVID-19 rules have certainly drummed up their fair share of criticism since they were announced a few weeks ago. Banning visitors from off-campus housing and other residence halls, limiting dorm rooms and suites to 10 people and enforcing the wearing of masks are just a few of the new changes that anyone would have laughed at a year ago. The food ordering app, “Boost,” is now the primary source of dining to avoid clusters of students in dining halls and seating is spread out by markers.

Wearing a mask and socially distancing is a small price to pay to experience college. (Morgan Tencza/Chronicle)

Everyone knows these rules are far from ideal. Everyone knows that our college experience, no matter how much the university tries, will suffer. But everyone NEEDS to know that these rules are essential to having a college experience at all.

This is the bed we have made as a country and whether we contributed to the growing positive COVID-19 cases or not, it does not matter at this point. The fact remains that a majority of students in the United States do not have the opportunity to walk across their campus or room with their best friends. Over 30% of U.S. colleges are completely online or primarily online, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education and The College Crisis Initiative at Davidson College. There are more colleges entirely online than entirely in-person this semester.

To the first-year students who are undoubtedly yearning to socialize, consider the risk. You have yet to appreciate college. Months of bonding and moments can be thrown in the fire. Perhaps more importantly you would deprive the rest of the school of another semester, namely the seniors who are experiencing the ticking time bomb of graduation. Get to know your building — there are some great memories to create in there.

It is unimaginable to spend another four months away from the campus and people that I hold so close to my heart. I love my family more than anything in the world, but this is one of the most important times of my life and yours as well.

College is where friends become more than someone you go to school with. It is where you learn to live independently more than you ever were prior to now.

The best part is I don’t need to convince any of you to agree with that because I’m certain you are right there with me. But we only have that experience if we abide by these rules. Wearing a mask is one of the easiest things to do; they are readily available and drastically reduce the spread of COVID-19. Ordering through Boost, a huge concern of mine when returning to college, has been easy and painless. Sure, orders might get backed up but growing pains are to be expected. There are also several grab-and-go options. As for travel restrictions, it is a shame but one we simply must live with.

With Quinnipiac reporting zero positive cases through initial testing, I thank everyone for the sacrifices they have made. However, always remember what positive COVID-19 cases could mean. It could bring yet another semester crashing to a halt.

So if you leave campus for any reason, I beg you to exercise extreme caution. If you are on campus, following the new rules is the easiest way to ensure we have the best college experience possible.

After all, something is better than nothing.