By Conor McCue

BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4) – Some students at University of Colorado Boulder were back on campus Monday for the first day of in-person classes since the fall semester.  As familiar faces trekked to class once again, campus was as beautiful as it was freezing.

“I’m from Chicago,” said Jordin Stibling, a freshman. “I love it, but it is very cold.”

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(credit: CBS)

So cold sophomore Cade Cushman briefly reconsidered his desire to be in the classroom.

“Waking up and it’s five degrees outside, it makes you not want to go and just stay inside, you know?” Cushman said.

Still, Cushman and many others braved the elements for a taste of the way things used to be Monday.

According to the University, courses designated as in-person or hybrid in-person for the spring semester were scheduled to begin the in-person format Monday, while courses designated as remote or online will continue that way for the entire semester.

(credit: CBS)

Cushman said his early morning calculus class had 25 people in it and attending the class in-person gave him hope that things can get closer to normal soon.

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“School has definitely been a struggle online,” Cushman said. “I think the in-person is just more community, and you can look to a peer for help and just the in-person life is way better and I wanted to go back.”

Freshman Jordin Stibling has never experienced a normal semester at CU Boulder. For the spring semester, she’ll get one step closer, as 3 of her 6 classes are moving back to in-person too.

“I kind of know how it’s going to be with the smaller classes, but some of my bigger ones like astronomy or something, I’m not really sure how that’s going to look,” Stibling said.

(credit: CBS)

The return to campus comes with some new routines. Mask wearing is required, and weekly testing will be the new norm for students, faculty, and staff who live on-campus or visit it for class. They’ll also have to take daily health questionnaires.

Cushman said he will gladly oblige, and after last semester he believes many of his fellow classmates are more open minded about following health precautions.

“It takes us doing stuff to get back to normal, not just the world doing it on its own,” Cushman said. “As a college I think we’re being a lot more open minded about it.”

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CU says the ability to have in-person classes is closely tied to the county’s status on the state’s COVID dial. You can learn more about the return to in-person learning here.

Conor McCue