UConn students are excited, hesitant about return to campus life

Northwest Residence Hall in fall 2020. UConn students are both nervous and excited to return to fuller housing capacity this fall. Photo by Erin Knapp/The Daily Campus

As University of Connecticut students anticipate their return to campus this fall, the world grapples with what the “new normal” will look like while facing a global pandemic and in the midst of vaccination turmoil.

UConn students are both excited for the semester and hesitant to return to on-campus life. Thendral Nagarajan, a fifth-semester physiology and neurobiology major, is skeptical of UConn’s ability to keep classes in-person this fall.

“I’m super concerned because other schools have already called off their in-person semester because of the delta variant, and I really hope UConn doesn’t do the same,” Nagarajan said.

Still, Nagarajan and many others are excited to be reunited with friends and return to a relatively normal college routine.

“I’m really excited to be back on campus and surrounded by people again. I missed that aspect last year and am looking forward to having that sense of community back,” Julia Quinn, a seventh-semester biological sciences major, said, while still uncertain about the continuation of the fall semester with the rise of the delta variant.

“I’m a little nervous about how the new variants are going to impact the semester as things seem to be changing everyday, but I’m hopeful that we will keep our numbers down and enjoy what UConn has to offer,” Quinn said.

Jessi Cooper, a fifth-semester elementary education major, spoke about the importance of a more usual college experience and developing in-person bonds. She said these were experiences she missed during the past year.

“This semester, I’m looking forward to enjoying the campus full of life again, the way it’s meant to be,” Cooper said. “I’m also looking forward to creating a real bond with teachers and classmates by having in person classes.”

Cooper, like many, is concerned about the delta variant and its impacts. She said she also worries about returning to a more usual college experience.

“I’m concerned about the delta variant; there’s so much we still don’t know, and I’m concerned the readjustment to campus life will be more difficult than I’m prepared for,” Cooper said.

Czara Mangahis, a fifth-semester mechanical engineering major, spoke about her academic worries after a year of online courses. She said she worries about most classes, excluding specific courses.

“I feel like my sophomore year of college did not exist because I … just didn’t learn anything, so I feel extremely unprepared for my classes, excluding maybe math,” Mangahis said.

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