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Students React to Colleges’ Reopening Plans With Mix of Optimism, Fear

Arriving on campus kick-starts a year of firsts for college freshmen, and Abbey Shea was excited about all of them. Her first introduction to new roommates who may become lifelong friends, first semester away from home, first foray into independence.

And then her Port Orange, Florida, high school postponed its graduation ceremony because of the coronavirus. Uncertainty set in, and Shea braced herself for “a new normal,” she said — a college experience far different from the social mecca she’d imagined. 

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