To all the incoming first-year student, I completely understand your concerns that you may have when it comes to starting college in a pandemic. I was in your shoes this past year.

I was skeptic when I first started living on campus. I was overwhelming myself by looking at the news and seeing all these other colleges shutting down, and I thought Winona was going to be next for no particular reason.

Winona State has gone through every building, every room, every event, every class, and has created protocol to keep the students and staff safe during this period.

Some of the protocols that Winona has put in place are moving nearly all rooms in the residence halls to be singles, max 20 person in-person classes, changing the dining halls’ tables to be max 3 people per table. You can read more about the protocols in the preparedness plan.

The professors at Winona have also been able to update their teaching methods so they can give you the same level of teaching online as they would be able to with in-person classes.

All my skepticism and anxiety about being on campus faded away quickly when I saw how prepared WSU was for the school year. I was able to learn and live in a safe environment where my health and safety was top priority.

I know some people may say that they feel like they “haven’t gotten the full freshman experience” because some of the normal amenities aren’t available, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t getting a valuable experience.

Winona State was ready for me, and they will be ready for you, too.

Authored by Meg Johnson ’24