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'A normal college experience' - Students hope for the best as semester begins

Some say they feel like they haven't had that college experience yet.

LACKAWANNA COUNTY, Pa. — Students are back on campus and back in class at colleges and universities all over Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania.

And many say they’re hopeful for a more normal year.

“I think everyone deserves a normal college experience, and I have friends who have even yet to actually… live in a dorm and experience like the basic college lifestyle because of everything," said Marywood University junior Ellen Frantz.

The health crisis made the college experience tougher for many, with quarantine rules, restrictions on gatherings, and more.

The stress of it all added up.

“Sometimes I feel like college has been kind of ripped out from me, but I know compared to my other friend, I have had more of a normal experience with COVID than some of my other friends who go to other colleges," said Kristin Ventricelli, a junior at Marywood University in Lackawanna County.

Students told Newswatch 16 they are hopeful but a little worried about new variants and the chance things may get bad again.

“I just hope that if they have to change anything, all it is is making us wear masks, other than sending us home or anything," said Frantz.

Many colleges and universities across the country, including Marywood, require students have proof of coronavirus vaccinations or negative COVID-19 test results before arriving on campus.