On Wednesday, students will be back on UL Lafayette's campus, but not nearly as many students as you'd have seen in Januaries past. This is because of adjusted schedules and virtual classes.
Faculty are working to ease students back into schoolwork as they return.
"It's already overwhelming to have like COVID and you can't meet people and you can't be in class," says Freshman, Kaley Mestayer.
For this reason, university administration decided not to change any protocols from Fall 2020 to Spring 2021.
"A lot of our students caught on to how to work through that scheduling in the fall semester and we felt that not changing things again on them was the important thing to do right now," says Provost and VP of Academic Affairs, Jaimie Hebert.
A large number of classes will be high flex, meaning rotating between in-person and virtual. Some larger classes will be 100 percent online, with some smaller classes able to meet in person and socially distance.
"We saw no need to increase the amount of protocols we had or to intensify those protocols," says Hebert.
Administrators asked for student feedback after Fall 2020 and heard a resounding need for more periodic breaks this semester.
"You'll see that even though most of the Mardi Gras festivities are being canceled, our students and our faculty are still going to have that break because we want them to be able to rest," says Hebert.
Students say last semester was a struggle socially and academically, but they appreciate the university's effort to keep campus safe.
"I understand why they have to do it. It's a necessary evil. It's going to get better eventually but I just have to keep hope and keep pushing forward," says Mestayer.