Into the Lion’s Den: Back to College in State Where COVID Roams Free

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Two weeks ago, I moved out of my family home in Oregon to live in an apartment in San Diego. This was a decision many questioned (both loudly to my face and in hushed whispers behind my back). It seems insane to many that I would move away from my rural county in Oregon (0 COVID cases) to a massive Corona hot spot.

It’s ironic, really: a year ago, people would have questioned why I still lived with my parents and now people question why I’m crazy enough to move out. But it’s not just me who is forging this path. With college classes starting in September, young people everywhere are trying to answer the great question asked by Mick Jones of The Clash: “Should I Stay or Should I Go?”

Here are some things I considered while making my decision.

You Have to Follow the Rules Everywhere

Whether you are in the smallest town in the world or the biggest city in the nation, you’re best off with following the same rules: wear your mask, social distance, don’t go to COVID Parties and spit in people’s mouths. These are just the best practices, and they don’t change – they’re not location-specific.

Experiential Learning is an Important Thing

I can’t even wrap my head around how much I learned in my first half year of college.

I was independent in a brand new environment and it pushed my boundaries in the best possible ways. When I moved home in March, I was comfortable… too comfortable. There weren’t any real experiences to push me forward.

Young adulthood is an important developmental phase, and I want to be in an environment that fosters as much growth as possible.

I Can Always Go Home

Some people do not have this luxury, but I am lucky that I do. If (God forbid) I get sick, my parents get sick, or something else terrible happens, my family is only a 15-hour drive away.

In fact, I subleased my apartment for two months to start so I have the space to assess if this is what’s best for me. If after two months I decide I need to go home, I am free to do that; there are never “no take backs” when it comes to family.

You Can’t Stop Living Life

I hate it when anti-maskers say “you can’t stop living life” as an excuse to go to a crowded beach party, but there is still some truth to the statement. There’s no end in sight for COVID, so if you waste your quarantine, you may be wasting years. You can take precautions and be as safe as you can be, but you can’t throw away this time. You have to continue to exist, continue to grow, continue to live life the best, and safest way possible.

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