By Jim Smith

BOSTON (CBS) — It’s a student scramble at Northeastern University this weekend. Due to coronavirus fears, students have been told they have to be out of their dorms by 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Students will now continue the semester online and at home. Student Victoria Russo said it’s a challenge.

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“It’s kind of crazy that my first year of college is already over so suddenly,” Russo said. “We just got back from spring break, so I was looking forward to the rest of the school year with my friends and my professors, but it’s for good reason, to stay safe.”

The decision comes after Northeastern had previously told students they could stay in their dorms.

“Just yesterday, they had us fill out a form of just saying if we intended to stay or if we were going” said student Sophie Bailare. “It kind of seemed like it was set in stone that we’d be allowed to stay, so it kinda just shook everything that we’re not staying anymore.”

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But they’re doing their best to take it in stride and have a college semester unlike any other. Jalen Gonel was spending a busy Saturday packing up.

“Originally I thought that it would be better if we were to stay here because we wouldn’t be seeing our relatives and getting them sick,” Gonel said. “But seeing that this is a lot worse than I thought it would be, I think going home for now before it gets really bad probably is the best thing to do.”

Northeastern isn’t alone. Emerson College, which had previously told students they could stay on campus to finish the semester, announced Friday that they must leave by March 23.

This weekend has been a mass exodus at colleges around Boston. Many students are facing a Sunday night deadline to pack up and head home.

Most schools, including Harvard, Boston University and Boston College, suspended classes earlier this week and are conducting online classes for the foreseeable future. Those who were on spring break were told not to return.

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