Here’s an unexpected answer for all the frustrated parents wondering what might draw their college-aged children off of their phones: school. Or, at least, an in-person college experience. Based on a new study by Grand Canyon University, 51% of college students would give up their smartphones for an entire month to be able to return to campus for a month.
The study, which took a deep dive into college students’ opinions on returning to campus during COVID-19, explored questions like why and how much students miss their on-campus lives, before asking what students would give up to return to campus.
According to their respondents, college students really, really miss their in-person learning environments. Over 54% of students surveyed said that they miss their on-campus experience “badly” or “very badly”. And in case you’re thinking that students just want to leave the nest to go party at college, it’s interesting to note that the #1 element that students miss about in-person learning is their in-person classes, labs, and study groups.
Students’ desire to go back to school are equally felt by college and university administrators. First, administrators want students back for their own sense of on-campus community. Additionally, administrators are also facing huge financial losses as lowered enrollment has dropped income from tuition and fees. These losses are happening even at schools that have been able to bring in and retain pretty sizable undergraduate classes. For instance, at The University of Michigan administrators are anticipating losses of $400 million to $1 billion, according to an ABC News report.
Clearly, both sides of the college community want to return to campus. However, there is still the question of “how badly” they want it. As stated previously, more than half of the students would give up their phones to return to campus. Other shocking results? A third say that they would give up their car, 72% would give up their Spotify and 56% would give up working out.
An especially notable statistic was that 54% of students said that they would give up all spring breaks for the rest of their time as college students to go back to campus for the remainder of their college career. This statistic fits into the policy that many schools have adopted of cancelling spring breaks for the spring 2021 semester so as to remove temptations for unsafe travel from burnt-out students.
Despite these policies, many students are still doing considerable traveling over long weekends. In the last couple weeks, Miami residents have seen the yearly flow of college students travelling to the sunny beaches for spring break, according to a new report. While many students have been vaccinated or have antibodies, there is still a concern that beach crowds will turn into superspreader events.
Still, there is hope that as vaccination solutions to COVID-19 are fulfilled, students will be able to do things like travel, gather, and, yes, even study in person safely soon. And if that means giving up their treasured phones? Well, these students will be ready.