‘It was my dream school since I was a little kid’

Incoming freshmen look forward to in-person classes, agree with vaccination requirement but worried about certain exemptions

%E2%80%9CIt%E2%80%99s+going+to+be+a+little+bit+easier+for+us+because+of+the+fact+that+half+the+school+hasn%E2%80%99t+been+on+campus+%5Byet%5D.+Nobody+really+knows+what+they%E2%80%99re+doing%2C%E2%80%9D+incoming+freshman+Julianna+Mill+said.

COURTESY OF JULIANNA MILL

“It’s going to be a little bit easier for us because of the fact that half the school hasn’t been on campus [yet]. Nobody really knows what they’re doing,” incoming freshman Julianna Mill said.

ALEXANDRIA OSBORNE, Evergreen reporter

As members of the class of 2021 say their goodbyes, new students are preparing to start their days at WSU while still in a worldwide pandemic.

Incoming freshman Julianna Mill said she decided to come to WSU to enter the criminology program and because she also has family in Pullman. 

Mill said she got the COVID-19 vaccine because she works at an early learning center and agrees with WSU’s vaccine requirement because it will help keep people safe on campus. She is hoping to return to in-person classes in the fall.

“I do not like or care for online classes at all,” she said. “It’s just not the way I learn.”

While there are still COVID-19 restrictions in place, Mill said the transition from high school to college will not be as hard as a lot of people think.

The COVID-19 pandemic prevented a lot of people from returning to campus in the last year. Mill said many people will be in the same boat as her when they all come to campus for the first time in the fall.

“It’s going to be a little bit easier for us because of the fact that half the school hasn’t been on campus [yet],” Mill said. “Nobody really knows what they’re doing.”

Mill said she is looking forward to coming to campus, even with all of the COVID-19 restrictions students still have to follow. 

“I already have a roommate and everything, so I am super excited,” she said. 

Incoming freshman Cole Harbour said he chose to come to WSU because he has multiple family members who are WSU alumni and still live in Pullman. 

“It was just kind of a first choice,” he said. “It was my dream school since I was a little kid.”

Harbour said he has been following the state’s COVID-19 guidelines and feels safe coming to campus in the fall because he is fully vaccinated.

“My only concern is kids messing around, [going to] parties and stuff,” Harbour said.

He supports WSU requiring the vaccine to come to campus because it will help with returning to in-person activities. Harbour said he hopes everyone who wants to get the vaccine can get it in time for the start of the fall semester 

Harbour said although he already vaccinated, he is worried about the people who seem hesitant to get the vaccine. He is concerned some people may take advantage of the exceptions WSU is offering.

He understands if someone does not want the vaccine for religious and medical reasons but the personal exemptions are kind of vague, Harbour said.

“I’m just concerned that people might not want to get the vaccine just because they don’t believe in it or they don’t think it’s going to work,” he said. “Then they end up coming to school and get people sick.”

Harbour said even though he feels safe coming to campus, being in person is going to feel weird because of COVID-19 restrictions still in place.

“We’re going to have a lot more opportunities than last year’s freshman class who didn’t get those opportunities because the virus was so new,” he said. 

Harbour is participating in ROTC while attending WSU and feels safe because he has seen the other people in the program following COVID-19 restrictions and guidelines. Harbour said he was able to come to Pullman and spend a day with an ROTC cadet a couple of weeks ago.

“It’s business as usual, doing all the proper safety precautions,” Harbour said. “I’m really excited. WSU’s program is probably the best in the country.”