By Minuet Bando, Sept. 7, 2021
Despite returning to campus after more than a year of quarantine and zoom, I feel increasingly more isolated than I did before. Living at the University Village under strict COVID-19 rules causes me to feel socially distant and affects my mental health.
This year, the University Village incorporated a no-visitor regulation which excludes non-Village residents from visiting Village residents. Unlike other occupants, I only have friends I met on campus who are non-residents or are not students at CPP.
Laying in my bed hearing and seeing groups of people laughing and genuinely having a good time through my open window makes me wish I could invite my friends over. Constantly encountering loneliness negatively impacts my mental well-being and diminishes my motivation to complete academic work.
According to a Boston University case study on students during the 2020 pandemic, “nearly 33,000 college students across the country revealed the prevalence of depression and anxiety in young people continues to increase, now reaching its highest levels.”
The pandemic made me realize the importance of social interaction, specifically on how we rely on each other for relief when life gets tough. Without that physical presence and emotional connection, we innately encounter the feeling of being lost and isolated. These overwhelming emotions are one of the reasons students withdraw from college.
As stated by College Data, the United States’ overall dropout rate increased to 40% for undergraduate college students and around 30% of freshman students dropped out before entering their sophomore year.
Even though the University Village hosts events for all the residents, most activities are over Zoom. It’s arduous to make a personal connection with another person through Zoom. One in-person event that occurred on Aug. 30 was “Mystery Movie Night.” It failed to help me make connections when you’re supposed to remain silent during a movie.
I previously enjoy spending most of my time living at my apartment completing assignments, spending time with others or just kicking back. I understand the purpose of the regulations, but that does not mean we cannot enjoy one another’s company while also being COVID-19 safe.
Since both students from campus and Village residents are required to fulfill a daily health screening, this demonstrates that individuals are responsibly doing their part in assuring a safer place on campus and in the village. With this extra precaution in place, I do not understand why, at least, CPP students cannot visit the University Village while providing their vaccine card along with completing the health screening.
Many students go to college not only to further their education but to enjoy their college experience. Part of the experience involves socializing among students from diverse majors, backgrounds and ages while creating memories. The strict procedure is robbing Village residents of this experience while off-campus students can freely socialize under LA County regulations.
For more information visit MentalHealth.gov.
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