Students return to campus with high hopes for the semester


Tyler Fisher Contributor

Students on campus are hopeful for a successful semester, and one that is free from the grasp of COVID-19.  

While the semester may be new, several students still maintain the worries of old. For many, COVID-19 is still at the forefront of their minds.  

From Jan. 21 through Jan. 27 of this year, the COVID Dashboard reported 39 positive tests for COVID-19. Four residential students were reported positive, compared to the 26 commuters that were reported as such. 

Freshman Jone Southern’s COVID Dashboard Mwape, a health science major is still getting adjusted to life as a college student. Mwape’s only concern is the potential for students in his class to go out and contract COVID-19. 

“It was difficult trying to get used to the system of going to class and time management,” said Mwape. “The only concern is, how would we know if some students have COVID or not? A lot of people go to parties, but you’ll never know. A kid could have gone to a party yesterday and has COVID, and then gone to class.”  

Sophomore Thamar Kalangala is a sociology major, and a recent transfer from Sacred Heart University.  

So far, Kalangala’s experience here has made her feel welcomed.  

“I like it, it’s different. I feel like I kind of fit in here more and there are a lot of resources. At Sacred Heart I was always the only black person in all of my classes so I was kind of uncomfortable, but here there are like four, five, or six of us (to a class) so it’s more of a homey feeling,” said Kalangala.  

While Kalangala’s experience has been, for the most part, a positive one, her concerns about COVID-19 remain.  

“Last semester I was kind of worried about it,” said Kalangala. “This semester I feel like because there are so many different variants coming out, and a lot of parties going on that COVID might spike again. I just hope this semester is better than last semester, I hope everything goes well, COVID goes down, and everyone hits their goals.” 

Freshman Greg Vanderlin is a Physics major and is more concerned with his classes than COVID-19. As a member of the honor’s college Vanderlin said that he and those that are also members of his living community have helped support each other in their learning.  

“I’m not exactly worried about COVID yet, I’m more just worried about just getting into my classes, I am kind of just starting to get into my major. I feel like this is a semester were I really have to learn to apply myself and try to teach myself stuff out of the classroom,” said Vanderlin. 

Ashley Rojas is also a newcomer on campus. As a freshman in healthcare studies, Rojas say’s that her experience at Southern is not what she expected. 

“Honestly, it isn’t what I expected, but it’s alright. I feel like I expected something from high school musical, but it is just so different than high school.”  

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