From the class of 2021 to 2025, The Daily Tar Heel spoke to UNC students who reflected on their experiences throughout the last two years of the pandemic.
Chapter 8: Closing
This spring, in its fifth pandemic semester, the University is attempting to give its students the "normal" college experience.
Many students are excited to be back on campus and in the classroom, but for others, the threat of COVID-19 remains in the forefront of their minds.
“There's people who have very legitimate valid reasons for not wanting to be in person,” Pettifor said. “Then there's people who feel really strongly about, ‘I'm paying for this education, I want to be in person, like it's you guys are saying it's fine to be in person masked in the classroom.’”
These past two years have been unprecedented, unconventional and strange.
But the student body has been resilient. They have continued to cooperate with vaccinations and testing, made new friends over Zoom and found ways to redefine the college experience despite the unique circumstances of the COVID-19 era.
Perhaps Jan. 23, 2023, will feel almost normal — maybe UNC students will even see "precedented times."
But for now, community members like Earnhardt are focused on taking this semester one day at a time.
“The start of this semester, even just the first day, was so exciting," she said. "I feel like it's definitely just been getting better and better.”
Click below to navigate to earlier parts of the series.
- Chapter 1: Intro
- Chapter 2: ‘That’s what the rest of your face looks like?’
- Chapter 3: ‘The importance cannot be understated’
- Chapter 4: ‘Mom, it’s real’
- Chapter 5: ‘We were forced to fast-forward our lives’
- Chapter 6: ‘Long story short, I had burnt myself out’
- Chapter 7: ‘I knew I was supposed to be happier’
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