Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Today's college students won't have a normal college experience — one with classes, graduations, internships and campus love.

Where it stands: Colleges' decisions about openings and closing are just as inconsistent as school districts', but with different stakes and a lot more money on the line.

The big picture: Some students get to go back to campus in the fall, and some don't.

  • It's complicated, and it could all change at any time.
  • Generational spokesman and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Friday released complex guidelines that largely leave it up to schools whether to open their campuses or not.
  • Some schools are splitting the baby: Check out Boston University, where "arriving freshmen and returning undergraduate students will have a choice of attending in-person classes or taking classes remotely under a new hybrid teaching format the University is calling Learn from Anywhere (LfA)." 

Between the lines: There are all kinds of thorny issues at play here — from the complicated relationship between U.S. universities and foreign students, to the sad fact that Black kids are more likely to suffer if campuses are closed.

What they're saying: For young people in particular, it's important for us to focus on a "sense of the future, and to remind ourselves that we’re in this with other people," Joshua Morganstein of the American Psychiatric Association tells Axios.

My thought bubble: These are hard times. The normal instinct to speak up for what you believe in is intensified because of all that is going on, and it's hard to figure out what one's priorities should be.

  • But college stuff is fun. Please buy the team jersey, take classes that require you to read "Beowulf," and stay idealistic to make the world a better place for all of us.

Go deeper

Jul 19, 2020 - World

Europe's lessons on reopening schools

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

American parents and policymakers hoping for a safe return to schools in the fall have been looking to Europe, where several countries reopened as early as April without a subsequent spike in cases.

Why it matters: There’s a growing body of evidence suggesting that schools can operate safely, at least under certain circumstances. But no country that closed schools has attempted to reopen them with outbreaks still raging as they are across much of America.

Jul 17, 2020 - Health

Gov. Newsom outlines plan for California students to return to class

Gov. Gavin Newsom in Los Angeles on June 3. Photo: Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

California Gov. Gavin Newsom said Friday that schools in high-risk counties cannot reopen for in-person learning unless their risk status has been downgraded by the California health department for two consecutive weeks.

The big picture: Los Angeles and San Diego's announcement that students will not return to campuses next month could kick off a domino effect across the U.S. among officials who haven't made final calls on how to safely reopen schools.

Updated 13 mins ago - Science

Hurricane Isaias makes landfall in North Carolina

People walk through floodwaters on Ocean Blvd. in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, on Monday. Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images

Hurricane Isaias made landfall as a Category 1 storm near Ocean Isle Beach in southern North Carolina at 11:10 p.m. ET Monday, packing maximum sustained winds of 85 mph, per the National Hurricane Center (NHC).

What's happening: Hurricane conditions were spreading onto the coast of eastern South Carolina and southeastern N.C., the NHC said in an 11 p.m. update. Ocean Isle Beach Mayor Debbie Smith told WECT News the eye of the storm triggered "a series of fires at homes" and "a lot of flooding." Fire authorities confirmed they were responding to "multiple structure fires in the area."