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The 2020-21 academic year is shaping up to be one for the ages for Gen Z college students. As Zers prepare to return, transfer, or start their college careers, Coronavirus continues to wreak utter havoc on what should be an exciting time. Read on to see how 8 Zers feel about their potential return to campus.
Nevermind what a complete tease (yay, you’re at school!) and shock (just kidding, now go home!) the previous spring semester was. Now, the closer that fall move-in dates get, the more feelings of unease, confusion, excitement, and skepticism are beginning to move in, too.
In May, UNiDAYS surveyed our verified student members in the U.S. about back-to-school (BTS) shopping across several categories. The results indicated that among the 1,200 respondents, most were excited about school, and a good deal of them were already shopping or planning to do so soon.
But students aren’t the only ones dealing with a completely foreign college experience—brands are, too. The 2020 BTS shopping season, which typically ramps up in July, will be unlike any that have come before it, either. It’s a unclear time, raft with more questions than we have answers for.
With these challenges and uncertainties in mind, UNiDAYS had some follow-up questions for college-bound Zers. We wanted to know where their heads were at. Did they think they would go back to school? And were they worried about it if they did? What were they planning on buying, if anything? These are a few of things we asked.
Here’s what 8 Gen Z students had to say about returning to campus this fall:
Question 1: Do you think you’ll be going back to campus for the fall semester?
Question 2: How are you feeling about going back to campus in light of COVID-19?
Question 3: Are you shopping for supplies for school, or are you planning to? If you are, what are you buying?
Question 4: How has COVID-19 impacted you and your plans?
Students are apprehensive. They want to be excited but also have very real concerns about their health and that of their family members. Brands should take care to not appear tone deaf to Gen Z’s dilemma over what the future holds and where their learning will take place.
Even among those that have started shopping, they seem to be doing so with a realistic and pragmatic approach. Purchases will be thoughtful and likely ones that will carry them from dorm to apartment living, to whatever might come next.
If you’d like to learn more about where Gen Z plans to spend their money in the strangest BTS season ever, download our report, Analyzing Gen Z Spending Habits Before and During COVID-19.
£22bn ($26.88bn USD). That’s the spending power of the Gen Z student population in the US. For the UK student population, it's £4.17bn ($5bn USD).
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