Students Discuss Concerns and Excitement on First Day Back

Staff report

“All around, it is better to be back in person,” said Anna Pavlintetz, a 19-year-old culinary arts major from Oceanport on Wednesday morning as Brookdale launched its first 15-week semester back on campus since the pandemic began.

 “I’m glad that we are able to come to campus and learn inside the school as opposed to online. It makes things feel a little more normal despite what is going on around us,” said Chris Mannuzza, an 18-year-old undecided major from Freehold.

“Nice to be back. I’m glad to not have to stare at a teacher on a screen,” said Andrew Webber, a 22-year-old communication media major from Eatontown.

Still there is some trepidation.

“I’m feeling a little nervous but also excited to get things going. Walking into buildings is daunting but I’m excited to be back,” said a 17-year-old electronic engineering student from Marlboro.

For some students this is their first semester at Brookdale.

 “I’m looking forward to having a good time on campus and to meet new people,” said Robbie Kim, an 18-year-old business major from Old Bridge, who also noted, “I’m nervous about my first college assignments.”

 “It’s my first time on campus, and it’s a really interesting design. I like the architecture,” said Dan Webber, a 19-year-old business major from Eatontown.

Many students on the Lincroft campus Sept. 8 said they are happy to move on from remote learning.

 “I like in person a lot more than remote. Remote is very disengaging and uninteresting,” said an 18-year-old undecided major from Howell.

Discussing the current mask mandate, students had a variety of thoughts and some concerns.

“I don’t mind masks all that much. My only gripe is if it fogs my glasses,” said an 18-year-old Howell student.

 “The masks don’t really bother me much. There’s a lot of outdoor room. It’s good to be back where I can pay more attention and feel more involved,” said Alan Fredricks, an 18-year-old computer science major from Tinton Falls.

Emma Wish, an 18-year-old fashion merchandizing major, said she was glad the mask mandate is “keeping everyone safe.”

But not everyone agreed.

“I feel like the mask thing is messed up. You have people that are sick or have disabilities who can’t wear a mask,” said Cristalyn Guerrero, a 21-year-old business law major from Union Beach.

 “Having to wear masks is something I wish we could do without, but it’s better than being trapped at home staring at a computer screen,” said another student who asked to be anonymous.