Welcome Back? College Students Anxious, Excited About Return to Campus

Most Michigan colleges and universities plan to come back with some combination of virtual and in-person classes. And that means students also have to make their own plans about how to stay safe while also continuing their higher education.

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With summer starting to wind down, many college students are now moving back to campus ahead of the fall semester. 

Most Michigan colleges and universities plan to come back with some combination of virtual and in-person classes. And that means students also have to make their own plans about how to stay safe while also continuing their higher education. 

MichMash spoke with three of the young scholars about their thoughts on returning to class during a pandemic. When we asked them whether they considered saying “no” to going back for the fall semester, each one said it was never really a question in their mind about whether or not they’d go back. 

Listen above to the whole conversation highlighting the myriad issues on the minds of college students as they get ready to go back this fall.


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Daniel Isabella, son of WDET programming director Joan Isabella, is heading back to Michigan State University soon. He says the university has been doing a good job coming up with a plan to keep students safe, but there’s still some anxiety. 

“Well, I feel like Michigan State is doing a really great job of putting forth a lot of mandates to try and make things feel safe and to put forth smart and well thought out guidelines. I don’t necessarily trust that a lot of college students will follow them, so I’m going to be pretty apprehensive going forward. I’m really excited to be back, but I don’t know how any of it will work going forward and it’s all a big question mark to me.” 

Lauryn Azu is a WDET intern who’s headed back to University of Wisconsin-Madison. She echoes those thoughts and says she hopes the university will be able to provide free testing for students. 

“I’m just hoping for the best and hoping people have sense, and hoping that they’re going to ramp up the testing that they’ve already started to organize for students that is completely free. So hopefully people are going to take advantage of that so they at least know their status when they’re going out in the world and doing whatever.” 

Ali Audet – another WDET intern who’s going back to Boston University very soon – says the guidelines and testing options are great, but it’s not enough to quell all of her fears.

“Because as much as they can test us and try and maintain social distancing and stuff like that, I do recognize that there is always an increased risk. So, excitement for sure, but definitely tinged with some anxiety and apprehension as well.” 

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Authors

  • Jake Neher is senior producer for Detroit Today and host of MichMash for 101.9 WDET. He previously reported on the Michigan Legislature for the Michigan Public Radio Network.

  • Cheyna has interned with Michigan Radio and freelanced for WKAR public radio in Lansing. She's also done some online freelancing and worked on documentary films.