Coming to campus as a first-year student usually entails a mixture of emotions– anxiety, excitement, homesickness, and a new-found responsibility of living on your own. This year, students began their freshman year faced with those same feelings exacerbated by the challenges of a pandemic. With outbreaks of the coronavirus almost immediately erupting in dorms across campus, it was evident from the start that this year would be unlike any other freshman experience. Now, students living in dorms are faced with a difficult decision– with classes offered entirely remote and housing contracts terminated for the winter semester, will they choose to return to campus?

This week on The Daily Weekly we talk with freshmen about their first semester at U-M and how they have reacted to the new winter semester plans which cancelled many of their housing contracts. We also speak with an resident advisor about how they have tried to create community among freshmen this semester. Finally, we speak with Daily reporters about what you need to know about the University’s winter semester plans.

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This episode was produced by Audio Engineer Gibson Gillett-Behrens, Executive Producer Sonya Vogel, Senior Podcast Editors Gerald Sill, Doug McClure, and Rachel Fagan, Content Producers Sofia Terenzio and Isaac Mintz, and Audio Producer Alec Bertoy. All the amazing music in this episode was made by Gibson Gillett-Behrens.