Opinion: Should Liberty Return To Normal In The Fall?

As college students at Liberty University are wrapping up their classes and anticipating the upcoming summer break, questions regarding the fall semester are beginning to rise. The most prominent one is: what does the reopening of the school in the fall look like? Liberty University has officially announced that the campus will be returning back to normal in the upcoming school year, and there are numerous motives confidently backing this verdict.

Liberty University’s decision to reopen its campus in the fall supports the mental, emotional and physical health of its students.

A major factor that supports the justification of reopening Liberty University’s campus in the fall is the fact that college students need the feeling of camaraderie. Studies report in the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, that social interaction is necessary for humans to be emotionally, mentally and even physically healthy. Psychology Today shows social isolation is very harmful and can lead to depression, substance abuse, poor sleep, a weak immune system and even suicidal behavior.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs states that social inclusion is the third most crucial need in people’s lives right after their basic physiological and safety needs are met. This indicates the significance socialization plays in the lives of people in general but especially to college students and how it is necessary for them to be healthy. 

Fellowship within Liberty University’s community helps students meet new people, make friends and create lasting relationships with one another. It allows space for both social and spiritual growth which can benefit all people. 

Liberty is not the only university planning on returning to normal operations in the fall. Other colleges that are planning to reopen their campuses  include American University, Baylor University, Brown University, California State University and Boston College. This list of institutions deciding to move their classes back to being in person is growing. With plans to reopen, these colleges are hyper-focused on protecting their students, faculty and staff by continuing to encourage COVID-19 safety practices and Liberty will follow suit. 

Notable Ivy League institutions such as Cornell University, Princeton University and Harvard University are planning to return all their classes to in-person during the fall semester. However, most Ivy League colleges are requiring their students to get vaccinated before being allowed back on campus. At Liberty, students are granted the freedom to decide whether or not they personally want to get the vaccine.

 Moving forward with both caution and hope, Liberty University should successfully return in full swing by August. Bringing students back on campus for classes will benefit them greatly this upcoming fall. 

Hannah Harden is an Opinion Writer.

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