College Freshmen Will Face a Different Environment Than Previous Classes


College Freshmen Will Face a Different Evironment Than Previous Classes

By Leyre Casarin, Swimming World Intern

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, one question that has repeatedly been asked is: How will incoming college freshmen handle this situation?

With all the craziness that has arisen, it is difficult to say. There is a lot of uncertainty, and money plays a big role in this situation, along with common sense. For universities that have adopted this format, classes in an online setting may not guarantee the same educational quality as in-person classes, where discussion plays a huge role. One thing is likely: They will not have the same college experience for the first semester, or even for the first year.

Regarding the pool, incoming freshmen will have to follow all the protocols which the NCAA released and can hardly vary from one university to another. As they take one step onto campus, they will have to follow rules in and out of the water, which is the necessary approach in order to maintain the safety for everybody and keep swimming.

The big difference for freshmen compared to the past will be their more limited movement and engagements. There will be fewer gatherings, parties and extracurricular activities, and team-bonding activities and meetings will not take place outside of an extremely safe environment. The pool will be available for swim practices and nothing more. One step out of the water and you need to wear a mask. Colleges such as the University of Utah have banned the use of lockers for an indefinite time to promote a safer environment.

Freshmen will have a first-year experience like nobody before. They will have to grow up fast because there will be no time for mistakes. If you make one error, you run the risk of getting infected. More, if you go to practice, you run the risk of infecting those around you and prompting a shutdown of the program. It is not a time for jokes. COVID-19 is serious and should be handled it seriously.

If the love for swimming is big enough, freshmen will handle the situation well. As long as they have a chance to get in the pool, they should be thankful. Many incoming freshmen may not experience the same. Swimming programs have been cut, such as Dartmouth College. Protocols are the order of the day, and following them makes sure you enter into a “safe bubble.”


  1. Carol Inman Greeman

    Mine is a freshman this year and she is happy to just be able to practice in whatever form that takes.

  2. Ja Bounce

    Would like to see all Testing numbers of Pool Chems & Athletes pre/post/team sharing, etc… Still yet to see ONE article in the U.S that can prove/disprove Chlorinated Pools/Athletes will/will not be affected?!?

    • Katie McNerney

      Ja Bounce small case study, we have been back since the beginning of June, following protocol, zero cases. Over 50 kids.

    • Angie Reese Mudd

      Ja Bounce we’ve been back since second week of June – 75 kids. No cases.

  3. Kelly Spencer Williams

    My sons’s team (300 strong) has been back for over a month. ONE swimmer tested positive from an outside exposure, no other swimmers or coaches were affected.

  4. Sharon Chocko Gallagher

    This is representative of the entire country. Green Is total tests in the USA. Blue is total cases. Red is total deaths. Grey is total people. Each dot represents 100,000 people. Let that sink in. Look at all those grey dots compared to blue and red. This is what they have turned our lives upside down over.

  5. Emma Carew

    As a rising freshmen swimmer in college I feel like even though things are different our class will have a tight bond because of it! Hopefully at the very least we can still
    Practice together!

    • Carrie Tran

      Emma Carew , way to be positive! All the best to you!

  6. Kate Briscoe

    Still a typo in the headline. Same as there was 12 hours ago, when you posted this the first time.

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