College students don’t expect their social lives to go back to a pre-COVID normal for at least another year, and many say they will keep wearing masks well into 2021.
More than half of the 2,000 undergraduates surveyed by College Pulse said they feel comfortable leaving home for non-essential trips such as eating indoors in restaurants and getting haircuts.
These numbers rose significantly from a similar survey in June.
However, around half of the students surveyed also said they don’t expect to attend a large party or sporting event for another year.
More from UB: 6 demands students are making in Columbia tuition strike
Only 9% said they would go to a large party right now, 17% would attend a sporting event, concert or play, 23% would go a movie theater and 36% would attend a small party.
Just more than a third are willing to travel by plane or ride public transportation.
Looking ahead, 15% expect they might go to a party next summer and 54% said it would be at least another year.
While about four in 10 students are now attending classes in-person, about three in 10 think it will be another year until they get back to campus.
Another year of masks ahead
Even with widespread vaccinations on the horizon, a majority of college students said they will wear a mask to prevent the spread of COVID for at least another year—even in places where face coverings aren’t required.
However, there’s a noticeable gender gap in mask-wearing expectations. While two-thirds of females say they will wear a mask for another year, less than half of male students said the same.
Half of the students surveyed said they won’t shake anyone’s hand for another year, and 17% said they would never shake hands again.