Recently, the NAU Jacks are Back website has released information regarding the fall 2021 semester. NAU announced classes will resume in person starting this upcoming fall, leaving students to wonder if returning to the classroom is too soon or long overdue. Some NAU students have a positive outlook on being for the upcoming semester. They are hoping it will help their mental health, while others are worried about individuals not following health guidelines and it conflicting with the virtual routine they have adjusted to. 


Edith Micu



“Going back in person would be great since a lot of people are starting to get vaccinated, but it benefits me as a student,” Micu said. “Being physically present in class would be better for my mental health because I would get that human interaction, but I would also enjoy my final year at NAU.

“However, now if NAU goes back to being in person it would affect my daily routine because now I don’t allocate time to travel to and from campus, but it would be for the best.”


Mason Suarez



“No, it’s not too early to be back in person with school in the fall semester,” Suarez said. “The reason being is that there is proof that COVID cases have been decreasing rather sharply over the past couple months. Along with new cases, the second wave of COVID-19 is not projecting numbers as the first wave of COVID-19. There is data showing that COVID-19 cases are decreasing or remaining stagnant. 

“Coming from experience, going in person should be a great way to move forward and progress for the future at NAU. This will not affect me as much. Transitioning to online school has been a challenge, especially when taking upper-division classes. Though, transitioning to online has given me more flexibility to have more time to myself and focus on other matters.”


Orron Sagy



“I would say I found it harder to engage in class and with others when our classes are difficult to begin with,” Sagy said. “Another thing I noticed is that being online hinders professors in being able to do their job to the best of their abilities when a majority of the time the only response they get are when they ask questions and their only response is silent black boxes on Zoom. 

“I think it’s in the best interest of both students and professors to return to in person teaching. When COVID-19 hit, all of my social interaction was halted, which definitely impacted my mental health. I know that for me, coming back in person and having the ability to make friends would boost my mental health. Additionally, having that accountability aspect in place because attending class in person motivates me more over a scheduled Zoom meeting.”

Sierra Loya


Criminal Justice

“COVID-19 has been around for over a year now and I think if we continue to isolate ourselves, the amount of mental health and physical issues will increase,” Loya said. “COVID-19 is extremely prevalent and intertwined in our society, so I don’t think schools being back in person will affect much. As long as students and faculty practice good hygiene and continue to wear masks, NAU should resume in-person classes.

“Personally, in-person classes would make a positive impact on my life. Attending school online is agonizing and I did not learn much virtually. It affected my mental health significantly because I did not have a routine and I was extremely isolated, so I’m hoping NAU will stick to its decision on moving to in-person classes.”


Madison Kieffer


Criminal Justice and Psychology

“I still think it’s too early for NAU to move to in-person lectures because people out in public can’t follow the simple rule of putting on a mask or wearing it consistently,” Kieffer said. “I am uncertain about how I feel about NAU going back to in person classes because there are pros and cons that would impact me personally. I hope that if NAU does go back to being in person, people will follow CDC guidelines and wear masks, and even if some do not comply that they will be mandated to wear them on campus.

“The positive impact that it would have on my life would be that it would better my mental health. I would be getting more human interaction and I believe that is something a lot of students other than myself need right now.”


Ashley Reiser


Communication Studies

“My experiences at NAU changed my life,” Reiser said. “I met a few lifelong friends and was able to have interactive experiences that shaped my life for the better. It’s not the same online. 

“[Switching from virtual learning] would change my life for the better. It would give me an excuse to be a student again, a student fully engaged in the curriculum.”