As first-year UConn students lined up to check-in for the new school year Friday, they experienced a wide range of emotions.
"I’m excited, nervous, but more excited than anything," Kelly O’Donnell said.
But in a world where Covid-19 is a concern, going to college is just a bit different.
"I definitely didn’t think I'd have to have a mask freshman year, but you know, it is what it is," Mai Munadallo, an incoming freshman, said.
In addition to having to wear a mask in indoor spaces, the university‘s policy says all students and staff need to be vaccinated unless they filed for an exemption, in which case they will be expected to take weekly Covid tests.
Jacob Baclawski shared his feelings about having roommates during this time,
"It’s very risky since it's two people, so you have to worry about yourself and your roommate," he said, but he thinks overall, it will be fine.
As of Wednesday, 96 percent of students were vaccinated, according to UConn.
Other new policies include not allowing non-students in dining halls to reduce crowding and only 90 percent of housing on the Storrs campus is being used. The remaining rooms are being set aside as quarantine spaces for potential positive Covid-19 cases.
Jun Bae, a parent, dropped his son off at school and said he has a heavy heart, but he has high hopes for his son.
"I want him to be more independent and mature," he said.
Students who spoke with NBC Connecticut said they are looking forward to the same things, growing up, independence and taking in college, one experience at a time.