Returning to normal is necessary for students’ mental health


Imagine going to a concert with thousands of people. Or going to a birthday party with all your closest friends. Or even just sitting in a classroom. These are all things we took for granted before the pandemic.

After over a year of being in the pandemic, we are all ready to be back to normal. And with plans for classes to be in-person in the fall, normalcy seems to suddenly be attainable. In fact, most experts say there’s a good chance students will be back in the classroom five days a week by fall, according to Huff Post.

It’s easy to see how this could be a mistake that would contribute to spreading the virus and making the situation worse. After all, the CDC says only 35% of the American population has been fully vaccinated. We don’t reach herd immunity until we hit 70%.

But while returning to normal campus operations in the fall is risky, it’s worth it.

Interpersonal communication is one of the most important parts of the college experience. It contributes to young character development and provides valuable networking opportunities.

Many college students’ mental health drastically decreased during the pandemic because they weren’t able to go out and talk to people like they used to. I noticed a slight decrease in my own mental health. Even though I always had the support I needed from my family, there was a constant overwhelming feeling of being alone.

According to a study from the American College Health Association, 60% of students said the pandemic has made it difficult to access mental health care.

You eat alone, study alone, workout alone and sit in your classes alone.

Even though I understand the importance of adapting to the new normal, there is something about doing everything alone that makes the things you have to do feel optional.

With no one there to hold you accountable, getting out of bed to do schoolwork is incredibly difficult.

Going back to in-person classes could be what many students need to get their mental health back in check.

We should look forward to some sense of normalcy in the fall and trust that the university will handle any obstacles that come from it.