Welcome Back, Cougars!

A feature on students who are returning to campus, their reactions and tips for getting back into the swing of things

Campus Life > Welcome Back, Cougars!
Welcome Back, Cougars!
Kean students following CDC guidelines, while walking on campus.
Jaclyn Lukas, Staff Writer

After over a year of adjusting to online classes, Kean University finally has the opportunity to re-open campus to all of its students and staff. The fall 2021 semester is set to be held in person, with the mandated precautions to keep everyone safe and healthy. Let's hear from some of our very own cougar’s on what they think of returning to campus in just a few months. 

Shalyn Spratt, an early childhood education major who will be a senior this coming semester said, “I do plan on returning to campus this coming fall semester if everything works out with the rules and regulations.” 

Same as Spratt, students will want to get out of their homes and return to school but will also want to be sure that the rules and regulations put into place will pan out. There is no doubt that Kean will do everything in their power to provide a successful semester back. Some students, however, are very used to being on campus during the pandemic. 

When asked about her plans to return to campus, Gianna Lepanto, an English major who will also be a senior this coming semester, said, “Yes, I am. In fact, I have actually lived and worked on campus these past two semesters, even though my classes have been virtual.” 

Spratt and Lepantos reactions were quite similar when they heard about Kean going back in person. They suspected that Kean would try to return to ‘normal’ as soon as possible because remote learning has been taking a toll on everyone. Both students are excited but also a bit nervous because the virus is still very prevalent. 

Spratt is planning on commuting to Kean, as she has done for the past semesters and Lepanto plans to continue living on campus. Both students work and understand that they will have to have a balance of time management and determination to have both in their schedule. 

When talking about getting the vaccine that is quickly becoming more available to the public, Lepanto said, “Yes, absolutely. Personally, I wouldn’t feel safe being back in person without the vaccine.” 

Spratt followed with, “I just became eligible recently to get the vaccine so I am looking into getting vaccinated for myself and just in case Kean makes it a requirement like Rutgers did.” 

The vaccine is still very new and some people are not fully on board with taking it yet but for others, it gives them a piece of mind. It is still unsure if Kean University will require their students to be vaccinated in order to return to campus. Other schools, such as Rutgers have already made it a requirement. 

Getting back into the swing of things after being in a quarantine lifestyle for the past year and a half is going to be an adjustment for everyone. To help and give some ideas on how to get back into the swing of things, here are some tips from Spratt and Lepanto:  

  • Keep doing what everyone has been doing to ensure safety (washing hands, wearing masks, being sanitary in all aspects)

  • Keep an eye on mental health, going back in person can cause anxiety and other emotions 

  • Give Kean the benefit of the doubt while they work with us in the process of going back in person 

Along with those, here are some general tips to consider: 

  • Students should start waking up early to follow their school schedule a week or two before school starts, to get back into that mindset 

  • Students should give themselves extra time if they are commuting, in case of traffic and while they get their bearings with driving to school again

  • Make sure to have proper time management, especially if students work along with school 

  • Be prepared for the precautions and safety requirements that come along with being in-person at school 

  • If students do not have one already, invest in a planner to keep all assignments and important dates in once place 

about the author

Jaclyn Lukas, Staff Writer


Jaclyn Lukas is an English major with a concentration in writing. She joined The Cougar’s Byte staff in Spring 2021. After her time at Kean, Jaclyn hopes to start her professional career in publishing for books or newspapers/magazines.