MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Wednesday marked West Virginia University’s first day of classes for the fall 2021 semester. For the first time since before the pandemic, campus was full and 100% operational.
Despite poor weather conditions, students flooded the streets of campus on their way to class. While students did have to wear masks in class, the energy around campus that was lost in the last 17 months has returned, at least in part, as friends reunited on a campus full of students.
“There’s still an edge to it that’s not really normal,” said Jed Simmons, a sophomore who was on campus last year while many classes were online. “Just the fact that there’s still a health concern – that’s a really big issue. Still worried about that to some extent. So, it feels more normal, but I wouldn’t say it’s fully normal.”
Through the excitement of the new semester, the late addition of a mask mandate on top of the rising number of COVID cases in the state of West Virginia had some students like Simmons concerned to return to campus and for what the future might hold.