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The first day back: Students react to campus return

Belmont students are officially back in classrooms.

And students are feeling a wide range of emotions — from excitement to nervousness.

“I am so glad to be back. It’s a little hot wearing a mask walking around campus. But having chemistry and chem lab and all that stuff, I’m just glad to be back and in person and to be around my friends again,” said Jillian Graham, a sophomore neuroscience major.

For senior Emma Gibson, being back on campus felt a little surreal, as it is her first time back on campus since December.

“It’s just been very odd from going from not being around anybody for so long — especially not being around Belmont people for so long — and then just kind of getting thrown back into it,” said Gibson.

Being able to attend in-person classes is exciting, but it’s causing some concern as well.

Even though there are some safety precautions in place, Gibson said she still feels a minor worry in the back of her mind.

“It’s just if someone lies on their symptom tracker and then comes to class and that is the reason that everyone gets sent home and that we have an outbreak on campus,” said Gibson.

For students like senior Ali Wine, the thing keeping their mind at ease is the array of health and safety guidelines in place.

Wine said those guidelines — like enforced mask-wearing and social distancing — are essential to keeping students safe.

“I am very appreciative of how proactive Belmont is being as an institution, looking at the college experiences my siblings are having out of state,” said Wine. “I really do appreciate that, as a student, that the bare minimum of what we should be doing as humans is enforced.”

Graham echoed that sentiment.

“I’m glad that they are implementing a lot of things. I’ve seen a lot of other universities not doing anything, just kind of going back to normalcy. So I’m glad they’ve mandated masks and taking that seriously and got rid of visitation,” said Graham.

“As much as I would like to see my friends in my room, I understand.”

Overall, many students are hoping their fellow students keep doing their part in keeping the campus as safe and healthy as possible.

“It really does feel like so far everybody is trying to take it seriously on campus. The hope is that off-campus, people can maintain that sense of, just, looking out for each other,” said Wine.

Similarly, Gibson said she hopes the sense of community around Belmont students keeps everyone accountable for their actions throughout the semester.

“One of the great things about Belmont is our community, as cheesy as it sounds, I feel like we kind of are all in it together and nobody wants to be the reason that something bad happens,” said Gibson. “So I think that you know, that’s something that is really good and it’s going to kind of help us throughout the whole semester.”

This article written by Madison Bowen.

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