Students Share Thoughts on Returning to Campus


Courtesy of Villanova University

Thousands of students return to Villanova’s campus amidst the ongoing coronavirus pandemic for the Spring 2021 semester.

Katie Reed, Staff Writer

After enjoying an extended hiatus from classes during the winter, Villanovans have finally returned to campus, ready to leave 2020 in the past, ring in the new year and begin the spring semester.  Classes resumed on Monday, Jan. 25, though most students settled in the weekend prior.

Although there are some changes on campus, such as heated tents to allow for outdoor, socially-distanced seating and the addition of Campus Cozies, all of the previous rules and requirements about wearing a mask, staying six feet apart and overall behaving hygienically are still in place. Students are still abiding by the CARITAS Commitment and putting community first.  All Villanovans are adjusting to this return to campus differently, with everyone having an assortment of online classes, in-person classes and living situations.  

Amanda Rappa, the President of the Student Government Association, is from New York and is majoring in Comprehensive Science on a pre-dental track.  She is beginning her last semester at the University as a senior, with three in-person classes, one hybrid class and two online classes.

“It is my second semester of my senior year, so I am honestly just happy to be given the opportunity to be on campus and enjoy this time with my friends before we all go our separate ways,” Rappa said. “I think Villanova has given us a unique opportunity to let us have a bit of normalcy and that is something I really appreciate.” 

Although she is excited to be back on campus, she understands the responsibility that students have to keep themselves and others safe during the pandemic.  

“I know we have the capacity and ability to make this work, but we really have to look back on what worked last semester to do it,” she said. “It is easy to come back more comfortable and confident, which is totally normal, but our mindset last semester was very different. We were doing our best to be safe and cautious because people doubted we were going to last the full semester. Now, it seems more like we expect to stay on campus.”

Students and faculty need to keep the same mentality from last semester in order to ensure this semester is a success, and Rappa encourages everyone to try to live in the moment. She advised everyone enjoy the normalcy that the University has provided, while also keeping in mind the consequences of our actions.  She stresses the importance of taking mental health breaks, especially during such an unusual academic year.

Megan Lapchak, a sophomore from Freeland, Pennsylvania who is majoring in both Biochemistry and Spanish, is another student from the University who is becoming reacquainted with campus life after the break.  She is returning to campus for the first time this academic year, since last semester she was fully remote with all of her classes and was living at home.  Now, with two classes in-person and four online, she finally has the opportunity to be on campus.

“Although I was a bit hesitant and weary about the situation at first, I am excited to be back on campus,” Lapchak said. “ It allows me to interact with my classes in a more effective manner and I can see my closest friends who have supported me through this transition.”

Although she enjoyed being in the safety of her home with family, Lapchak expressed that the transition was difficult coming back to campus. She is happy to be back and feels like she never left, which speaks to the community at the University. 

“I am most excited for the memories I will make this semester,” she said. “ I am also excited to finally feel a slight sense of normalcy in the fact that I will be attending classes, even if it is only two of them.”

She plans to make the most of her time on campus by dedicating herself to her studies and taking advantage of research opportunities.

Although Rappa, Lapchak, and other students’ experiences in returning to campus for the spring semester all look different, everyone is back and ready to make the most of the time spent on campus, while also remaining diligent in the efforts to protect against the spread of COVID-19.