Keep spirits up: Follow these tips for returning to campus amid pandemic

Two+Illinois+students+enjoy+time+with+each+other+at+Kung+Fu+Tea+in+Champaign+on+Oct.+18.+2019.

Ryan Ash

Two Illinois students enjoy time with each other at Kung Fu Tea in Champaign on Oct. 18. 2019.

By Meghan Lyons, Special Sections Editor

If you are an international student, I bet America is probably not what you envisioned when you first applied to this college. Since the early beginnings of coronavirus, xenophobia has run rampant in America’s society and institutions. It seems like every other day, a new ICE policy trying to target international students comes out. Even as a non-international student, I recognize the hardships that international students may endure. So before you experience pandemic-era America, there are a few things I want you to know.

Avoid the Crazies.

Unfortunately, the Dunning-Kruger effect seems to be another pandemic running around and infecting people in America. Here, wearing a mask and science itself has somehow become a political thing. If you happen to meet any anti-mask people while you are out and about, please, avoid them at all costs. Some of these people can be found lingering around at the cesspool bars. If someone mocks you for following guidelines, please don’t listen to them. They don’t know what they are talking about.

Yes — wearing a mask is cool!

Just because all those frat dudes aren’t wearing masks doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. I’ll let you in on a secret: wearing a mask is cool! Please do not succumb to peer pressure and take off your mask. By wearing a mask, you will showcase your superior intelligence (and even better, you won’t kill people!).

It’s okay to be frightened!

Hey, you heard it: It’s okay to be scared! I’m scared too! And so are a lot of us living here! The country is more divided than ever, people still think the virus is a hoax, moms and veterans are getting teargassed by federal agents in Portland, and the virus still isn’t under control. Things may seem scary, but we have one another to share that fear.

Remember: There is still good here.

Once again, I apologize for what you may experience here. Although there are a lot of negative things going on, you can still find good on this campus. There are still people with values here. There are still people who will support and protect you. Don’t let anybody else get in your way. It may be dark here, but you can still find a way to flip on the switch.

Meghan is a junior in LAS.

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