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Meet Covid-19’s Freshman Class They’re lonely, they’re struggling. But they’re fighting to make it through.

Lucy Naughton doesn’t mind spending a lot of time in her dorm room. She just wishes she could do it with other people.

The freshman at Hamilton College is a self-described homebody. In high school, hangouts with friends often involved curling up with blankets and pillows, lighting candles, and talking for hours.

That’s how she thought college would be, too. But thanks to Covid-19, for most of the semester, friends haven’t been allowed in her room unless they live on her floor — and even then, only masked and physically distanced. Last week, campus officials slightly relaxed the rules.

Hamilton, like many colleges that reopened for in-person learning this fall, has put in place stringent protocols to curb the spread of the virus: extensive testing; mandatory face coverings; and, if students leave the small campus in upstate New York for any reason, a negative test to return. The approach appears to be working, as Hamilton has reported just 10 cases among students since August.