For the first time in 18 months, groups of CSUN students wandered through campus’ maze of walkways their way to class, Monday, Aug. 30.

The university, which had gone primarily online in March 2020, opened its doors to a more hybrid semester with approximately 50 percent of classes having an on-campus component, increasing the population on campus significantly.

For returning students, campus is a mix of familiar and new.

Senior Ryan Rimando was happy to be back playing volleyball with a club on Sierra lawn.

“It feels great seeing all of these people around for once,” he said.

Micah Jadarien Moore and Rafael Quevedo, both returning seniors, remembered the years before the COVID-19 pandemic fondly, saying that though they were happy to be back, they missed how busy campus was in past years.

“It’s a whole new vibe, a whole new energy. It’s really, like, unexplainable,” Moore said.

Though he acknowledged that it was different, Quevedo was excited to study and interact again with classmates – without a screen between them. This was echoed by many students, both returning and new.

“Being online for nearly a year and a half was really rough,” said returning junior Joanna Wu. ”And coming back to something familiar is really nice.”

Though transfer students, Dulce Orantes and Joe Flores, had come to check out campus over the summer, they were still excited to explore.

“It feels really great [to be here],” Flores said. “Being able to walk around everywhere, it is a whole different feeling than being online.”

“I feel more motivated to get my schoolwork done,” said Orantes. “Everyone is doing their own thing, but they are not afraid to interact with others and make new friends, which is really important as a new transfer – especially coming out of quarantine.”

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