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 student journalist majoring in Digital Communication and Media. As a bilingual reporter, she enjoys covering stories about her diverse Miami community. With a strong passion for broadcasting, she aspires to pursue a career as a multimedia journalist in South Florida.

Esteban Rodriguez is a sophomore majoring in TV/Broadcast media. He is a producer for Caplin News and FIU's Sports show, Sideline. He hopes to pursue this path of producing for Sports Networks and/or Hollywood in the Film Industry.