ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC)— Many colleges are starting to welcome students back for the start of classes, but out of state students and those with weakened immune systems are dealing with their own unique challenges.
Andrew Wicklum will be starting his first year of college at Nazareth this year.
“I think I’m most nervous about it just being the first time for everyone. People like me who have never been to college before and are going to be kinda thrown into this new environment and you’re going to have to assimilate yourself in the middle of a pandemic,” said Wicklum.
Wicklum is one of Nazareth’s 164 out of state students required to quarantine before the start of classes — something he says was important because the safety requirements in New York state are more strict than at his home in Georgia.
“It’s completely different here. I can say as far as masks wearing goes,” said Wicklum. “And I think that’s kinda like a sign that Georgia’s not doing what they’re suppose to be doing. Therefore I should have to quarantine.”
Wicklum believes that safety precautions are not only keeping him safe, but also the staff and other students on campus.
Elianor M.A., a junior at the University of Rochester, was diagnosed with a rare auto-immune illness. She has to take her own precautions in order to stay safe.
“Its a very hard process to navigate. I’m already in the high risk group,” said Elianor.
Elianor will be doing all of her classes online this semester and will only visit campus when necessary. She is also turning what she learned during the pandemic into a book that gives students tips on how to deal with stress.
“For a lot of us we don’t have the opportunity to go out all the time, we can’t really see friends especially someone like me who’s at high risk, so I have all sorts of advice for what we can do in our homes and to stay connected to other people despite what’s going on,” said Elianor M.A.
Information on Elianor M.A.’s book “Dealing with Dramedies’ can be found here.
Both students said the biggest things they have learned is to focus on what you can control and utilize personal safety strategies.