College freshmen return to normalcy after hybrid high school years (includes video story)

As the second week of fall classes and COVID-19 fades in the rearview mirror, South Florida’s freshman class of 2026 is expressing relief at being back in the classroom and optimism about the future.

After two years of disruption in high school, many are ready to get back to business.

“Now that I am back in classes, I am looking forward to everything getting back to normal,” said Meagan Ali, a University of Miami freshman.

Many students, though, gained an appreciation for the effectiveness of online learning during the pandemic. How that will play out in the future is unclear.

Samantha Gutierrez is a Latina freshman majoring in Digital Communication and Media. She is bilingual and enjoys covering stories about the environment and local events. She is passionate about broadcasting and aspires to pursue a career in anchoring.

Esteban Rodriguez is a freshman majoring in TV/Broadcast media. He hopes to work in late-night entertainment, Filmmaking, sports journalism, and/or broadcast television.