CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - Coastal Carolina University began welcoming new students onto campus on Wednesday.
For freshman Katie McArdle, move-in day is everything she’s been waiting for, but not at all like what she imagined.
“Being around everyone with this is gonna be a little scary,” she said as she and her mom unpacked their minivan after driving down from Long Island, New York. “It was definitely nerve-wracking but I’m glad we got down here.”
But to make the process of moving in and starting classes less nerve-wracking for parents and students, CCU put some changes in place.
To prevent crowding, not everyone had to move in on Wednesday, and more students will move onto campus through Friday.
Move-in times were staggered as well and check-in was done in a drive-thru to avoid lines from forming inside buildings.
Masks had to be worn unless a student was in their own room.
If students didn’t want to move in for online classes, the university will host another round of move-in days in September ahead of the transition to face-to-face learning.
Still, for parents and students, concerns around not just the virus but the college experience linger.
Pamela Sheehan, who’s daughter Olivia is set to study marine biology, said they considered doing community college for a year before ultimately deciding to commit to CCU.
“She really wanted to come. She doesn’t mind it’s online as long as she’s here,” Sheehan said.
But she added that she is concerned about how the virus will impact her daughter’s life at college.
“I’m gonna disinfect everything when I go in there,” Sheehan said. “I think the main thing I’m just worried about is her experience.”
And while McArdle said since she’s from New York, she knows to take the virus seriously, she still is nervous for the year to come.
“I’m nervous that, what are they going to do if somebody does on campus get the virus, what’s the situation with that,” McArdle said.
CCU is still in the process of securing a building where students can quarantine if they test positive for COVID-19.
As of now, students moving onto campus do not need a negative coronavirus test to move in.
However, student health services said they do have access to rapid tests at the health center if they start showing symptoms.