VERMILLION, S.D. (KELO) — Classes at South Dakota’s public universities are beginning to wrap up much earlier than usual.
Leaves are falling on USD’s campus and in just two weeks students will be heading home for Thanksgiving break, but unlike most years, they won’t return to campus afterwards.
“I miss my family. I haven’t seen them in awhile. I’ve tried really hard not to go home this semester because of the short weekends and because of all the work I need to keep up on, so I’m really excited,” USD senior Jaid Freestone
Because of COVID-19, South Dakota’s public universities didn’t have any extended weekend breaks this semester. Students will take their finals online after Thanksgiving.
“Some of the classes are, you get an A in the class, you don’t have to take the final, some of the classes are trying to knock it out beforehand, but the better part of them are just doing it over Thanksgiving break,” USD freshman Brian Shirley said.
Some students are taking precautions before heading home.
“I was just going to stay home, do my homework and try to avoid people around. I don’t really want to bring anything back home,” Freestone said.
“I might get a test because obviously young people can be asymptomatic, and I’m going to be with my parents the whole time and I want them to be safe. So I think that might be a good idea,” Shirley said.
This semester wasn’t always easy for students as they navigated college classes and COVID-19, but for first year students, that’s all they’ve known.
“Everyone talks about things like the way they used to be and this is my first impression of college so this is what I imagine everything’s just going to be like and I know it’s only going to get better because of that,” Shirley said.
USD is encouraging students to get tested before heading home for the holiday break and stay home as much as possible to stay healthy.