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USF Students 'Hesitant' About Returning To In-Person Classes

Hillsborough County, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) - University of South Florida staff announced Wednesday they are preparing for a full return to in-person classes and student activities come Fall semester. USF students say, while they're looking forward to being back in a social setting with friends, they're hesitations far outweigh their excitement for that communal environment.

CW44 News At 10

"Most of my classes are virtual. I have one hybrid course," said Ellie Levesque, an Undergraduate Student at USF.

Ellie Levesque spends the majority of her time studying at home, but, like any student longs for good, wholesome conversation.

"I just try to study every Thursday with one of my friends… try to get a really good routine going and just try to have some sense of normalcy back," she said.

Wednesday, she was among the tens of thousands of USF students who found out they would be returning to campus full time for in-person classes and activities in the fall. "I was at home but I saw the notification, I opened it immediately. As much as I want to be fully back in person, I'm very hesitant," she said. "Given current Covid statistics, I know the rates of infection's kind of slowing down a little bit now with the vaccinations coming out. If the numbers are better in the fall then I'll feel a lot better about it."

Fellow classmate, Harshil Contractor says he's come a long way overseas from India to get the full student experience, but hasn't had the chance yet.

"Physically, I've been around two to three times on campus, but still, since we're not meeting on campus, it's difficult to network with people," said Contractor who is currently a graduate student at USF.

USF officials tell CW44 News the university will continue to be guided by the scientific advice of public health experts and will be ready to adjust plans if needed.

Also: USF Epidemiologists Analyze Prevalence Of COVID-19 Variants In Bay Area

"And if students and faculty are up for it and if they follow it perfectly, I'm really looking forward to coming on campus. Because meeting new people, that is the biggest plus point in the United States. So I'm really looking forward to it, yeah," said Contractor.

Since arrangements have been made, Levesque is asking fellow students to follow those guidelines so they don't end up back at home. "It hasn't really been taken seriously, there's been a lot of partying still going on, which is completely inappropriate. Try to stay safe and continue to take this pandemic seriously."

University officials say they will also deliver an array of online classes for students who find them more convenient and to ensure access and progress to timely graduation.

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