UW-Madison students prepare for semester with skepticism

MADISON (WKOW) -- Classes at UW-Madison will start Wednesday, but some students think they'll be sent home soon.

"I'd give it a month, maximum," sophomore Daniel Sendelbach said Tuesday afternoon.

Sendelbach said he appreciates the new regulations campus leaders put in place to slow the spread of COVID-19, but he doesn't think they'll be effective.

"We see huge packed bars," he said. "The kids don't really care. I think it's going to break out and they'll send them all home."

That's something freshman Madelyn Mascotti is preparing for, but she said she hopes it doesn't happen.

Mascotti said starting college in the middle of a pandemic is tough.

"I'm excited, but at the same time, it's really scary because there's so many things that we can't do and so many things that we want to do," she said.

One of the hardest parts so far is trying to make friends. She said limitations on social gatherings and events have made it hard to get to know new people.

"It's just a big stress," she said. "I feel that a lot of people aren't willing to make friends because of all the restrictions we have and just being worried about COVID in general."

Despite some nervousness about the virus, Mascotti said she's not worried about her in-person classes because they're small.

Almost all of Sendelbach's classes are online, and he said his priority is keeping everyone healthy.

"Safety is definitely more important than that face-to-face contact with your professors," he said.

He said the transition to online classes in the spring was a bit bumpy, but everything ended up working out.

"It's worse because it's online, but the rigor of the classes was all the same," he said. "Now I know what to expect, and it's pretty similar to in-person classes."

As of Tuesday evening, the UW-MadisonCOVID-19 dashboardshowed 98 positive tests for students and faculty in the past week.

The university is expecting to test 6,000 people each week throughout the semester.

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