CHENNAI: S Priyamani was dressed in her best attire and was beaming with joy as she entered her college campus on Wednesday after a long wait of over an year. A post graduate student of MOP Vaishnav College for Women, Priyamani had visited her college only once last one year and had spent the entire first year attending virtual classes.
“When I had taken admission in this college, I had so many plans to enjoy my campus life. But the pandemic shattered it all. Online classes were not engaging and very boring. I met all my classmates, most of whom I have only seen online,” said Priyamani.
“Finally, it seems like life is limping back to normalcy. I interacted with my friends and felt so relieved,” said Saranya, another student. Emotions ran high as students met their peers and teachers in person after a long gap. The excitement of students was evident from the fact that majority of colleges in the city reported over 80% turnout on the first day itself.
Teachers were equally excited. “For last one and half years, we have been teaching through online mode but I was missing the hustle and bustle of campus, missing that classroom ambience. Most importantly, I was missing physical classes, “said V Aishwarya, teacher of a Government College in Chennai.
Meanwhile, college officials had a tough time implementing physical distancing. “Inside the classrooms and laboratories, social distancing was strictly followed but the moment students came out, it became difficult,” said MG Ragunathan, principal of Guru Nanak College. To ensure a secure environment, many colleges organised vaccination camps on their campus. Some colleges have even asked only fully vaccinated students to come to college.