With colleges announcing their plans for the upcoming school year, many students are left with feelings of uncertainty.

For students attending college in New York City, the pandemic has presented new challenges and norms that students were never prepared for. Earlier this summer, the rising number of cases made it appear that schools and colleges would remain closed. With great optimism, colleges are engaging in new ways to educate and connect with their students across the world through a hybrid format this Fall.

Despite their efforts and improvements in pedagogy, the actual logistics behind a hybrid or in-person school year raises potential problems and anxiety for faculty, staff, and students.

With the New York State’s COVID-19 Travel Advisory set in place, travelers must follow a mandatory 14-Day Quarantine post entering New York.In order to ensure that the students entering the state will not increase the COVID-19 transmission, following such pre-cautions is necessary for New York’s successful containment in the near future. For out-of-state students – migrating back to NYC for the school year will be a very different or even a difficult experience in comparison to the previous years.

Photo by Pat Krupa on Unsplash

With such protocols and advisories set in place, the support of colleges are needed by the FGLI students more than ever. Although not every FGLI student face extenuating circumstances, it is important to pay attention to the students who might be impacted by virtual learning at home. There are students who face housing insecurity, lack of mental health resources, unideal living situations at home– only to name a few – that can impact their overall academic performance.

If you are a FGLI student, who are in a similar situation – it is important to advocate for yourself and ask colleges to communicate openly about their plans and guidelines for reopening. To get clarity and transparency as to how they can support you in the near future, reach out to deans, faculty, and administration – including the financial aid office – to receive adequate academic and financial support for the school year. Furthermore, vocalizing your needs to community groups, alumnus, and fellow students will allow you to find students who are in a similar situation and individuals who can advice and advocate with you as a FGLI student.

For those who have a safe home environment, although distant learning presents great academic barriers – staying home is a great alternative option as well. Virtual learning helps ensure the safety of our communities and the essential workers who will be within campus buildings.

Whether you will be on campus or online, it is important to remain vigilant about your safety and continue to advocate for yourself for this upcoming school year.

“The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.” – Coretta Scott King

Photo by Ryan Gao on Unsplash