VCU, U of R students return to campus and new sense of normalcy

Thousands of college students from all over the country are flooding back to Richmond for the start of classes.
Published: Aug. 17, 2022 at 7:05 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Thousands of college students from all over the country are flooding back to Richmond for the start of classes.

Students say loosened restrictions, and fewer requirements make this year’s return feel far more welcoming.

“I’m definitely looking forward to getting that college experience, meeting new people, and getting more involved with that social experience that I kind of missed out on for the past couple of years,” University of Richmond freshman Molly Wise said.

It is the first time since the pandemic that college move-in feels unrestrictive.

“I’m excited to just explore all the great things that Richmond has to offer and meet a bunch of new people,” VCU freshman Noah Hendrickson said.

This year, it’s a mix of COVID-19 protocols between schools. VCU does not require vaccines or boosters this fall, while the University of Richmond requires them. However, masks are optional at both schools.

“One of the biggest parts of college is the freedom you get, and COVID really restricts that,” University of Richmond freshman Tillman Ball said. “I’m just glad that I’m able to walk around and go wherever I feel, the library or the dining hall whenever, definitely want to wear a mask anymore, so that’s awesome.”

This year, many students look forward to face-to-face classes rather than spending hours glued to a screen.

“In person, I get to like actually talk to people and socialize, which I enjoy,” University of Richmond freshman Cooper Suminski said.

Now, students are fully embracing the college experience, an opportunity that many students didn’t have in 2020.

“Definitely looking ahead to the social aspect, getting to talk to people and getting obviously to meet new people from every different state here,” Wise said.

While University of Richmond students flooded campus Wednesday, VCU was quieter.

Official move-in starts Thursday, Aug. 18, when folks expect heavy traffic and limited parking around the university.

Laurel Street will be closed between Grace and Main streets through Saturday, Aug. 20.

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