CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – College students across the Lowcountry are settled in and starting classes this week. Charleston Southern University held the first day of class on Monday, College of Charleston started Tuesday and The Citadel begins on Wednesday.
Last year, schools relied heavily on online classes. That meant fewer students were on the three campuses when they normally would be. This semester, however, the focus is on a more traditional style of learning and more students are back.
“They’re everywhere. We went from 0 to 100 in just a few days, it’s crazy,” said Julie Alimpich, the Director of Operations for Student Life at Charleston Southern University. “It’s a lot more people than we’ve had in the past year.”
Students say they’re excited to get back and get the year started.
“Just feels good to be back on campus,” said Robert Weiss, a College of Charleston student.
The combination of online and in-person classes last semester at Lowcountry universities had many students feeling left behind.
“I’m happy to be back in person I couldn’t really focus online,” said Hayden Hartley, a College of Charleston student.
“I wasn’t too much a fan of online class, but obviously under the circumstances, we had to,” said Weiss.
As for COVID-19 protocols, vaccines are not required at any of the three major Lowcountry schools, CSU, CofC, or The Citadel, but they are strongly encouraged.
CofC is offering a little extra motivation for people to get the shot.
“They’re offering some scholarship money if you do have the full vaccination they’re doing some raffles,” Weiss tells News 2. “Which I think is a really good idea to sway some people to sway some people who don’t yet have it to get vaccinated and be safer on campus.”
CSU is sticking with what they know for COVID-19 protocols.
“We are wearing masks, we’re practicing social distancing, and there’s still some plexiglass up in some locations. For the most part, it’s just wash your hands, wear your masks, be safe, stay home if you don’t feel good, and look out for one another,” said Alimpich.
Regardless of the pandemic students say they’re glad to be back, see their friends, and continue their education.