Many students spent almost all or part of the last year completely online. After making this difficult change, students were left completely in the dark about when they would return in-person to classes. For this school year, students finally have the opportunity to experience in-person instruction once again. Even though it is not quite like what students may have pictured, it is pretty close to what school was like pre-COVID-19. When asked if policies, such as the mask mandate, have made an impact on his in-person experience, Matthew Neus, a freshman journalism major, said, “As long as we are back in person, it doesn’t really matter.”
Many students feel this way, according to Andrea Goodwin, the assistant Vice President for Student Affairs. Goodwin meets twice a week with the Division of Student Affairs to review COVID-19 data and discuss the impact of COVID-19 on the campus community. Goodwin said, “Most students feel safe in person and are glad to be back. By and large most of the responses have been very positive.”
In general, many students are happy to be back into the swing of things and are adjusting well. The campus community is doing their part to ensure safety among all students and staff.
Goodwin also said, “People are very respectful about distance, and everyone is complying with masks.” She has even been to some football games so far and feels everyone there was respectful as well. It truly feels like a lively campus again, and students can finally return back to activities that make the University of Maryland so special. Some of the best memories made at college are due to the privilege of being in-person.
While many students feel comfortable to be back in person and are enjoying their experience, there are some students who are still weary of it. Sophomore nursing major, Rachel Baker said she feels nervous but knowing she is fully vaccinated helps ease that stress.
The transition back to in-person learning has been extremely different for many sophomores because they came to UMD while it was completely online, and some not even living on campus.
Excited to finally experience all of what UMD has to offer, Baker said she is “very happy to be back in-person. Seeing campus so lively and full of students walking around is great.” She said that the adjustment from online learning has been hard but is definitely worth it.
Overall, the majority of students feel comfortable about transitioning to in-person learning and are thrilled to be back. While it can be hard to adjust to change, UMD’s students have done an amazing job, and the campus is full of students once again.