WESTPORT — Adjusting to the changes and travails of an online education present some unique challenges, but for several first-year college students, being back home in Westport is not all bad.

“It’s the place where I feel most comfortable and safe,” said Zach Rogers, who began his studies at Tufts University in September.

Given the uncertainties of the time owing to the coronavirus and related stressors, he expressed gratitude to be among family and friends rather than on his own in Boston.

Rogers is among hundreds of 2019 Staples High School graduates who were dealt a most unusual freshman year at college — forced to spend the latter portion back at home learning online.

“In the fall I was really excited to just go off and kind of grow as a person, and grow in an academic sense as well,” said Kevin Ludy, who started this year at Syracuse University and was enjoying the experience.

But, like the others, he’s trying to keep a more holistic outlook on things, putting disappointment in the back seat behind the current crisis.

“I let myself be sad for a day, but then the problem is so much bigger than me having to come home from school,” said Julianna Shmaruk, who studies at Lafayette College.

Consequently, she said, “I don’t feel like it’s my place to really complain about that.”

Inherent in the relocation back home are some different opportunities, including the chance to share an unusual experience with family.

“It’s a very unique time (and) it can be special,” parent Dawn Shmaruk said. “We won’t have another opportunity like this where the four of us are together for this length of time.”

And due to minimal face-to-face interaction with close friends from high school, she said sibling relationships have become all the more important, with her daughter and son, Ben — a junior at Lafayette — spending a lot of time hanging out.

“Me and my brother can’t hang out with our friends,” Julianna said. “Our parents have like their claim on us right now.”

The upside, she said, is that with boundaries relatively reduced, her family is more willing to try new stuff together — singing duets with her brother, practical jokes with her father, Tik Tok dancing with her mother, and yoga for the whole family.

“Going through anything like this will always make people closer in the long run,” said Rogers, whose family time includes movies, games and lots of dog walking.

“Family walks are really big right now,” Ludy said. “I see all the neighbors walking like multiple times a day.”

Netflix, Spotify and messaging with friends whom Ludy said are now all up until 5 a.m. are some of the ways he’s passing time in an environment he likens to the odd nebulous period between Christmas and New Year’s Day.

Dealing with studies is, likewise, markedly different.

“People have been joking it’s like Zoom University now,” he said. “It’s definitely an adjustment,” with the routine and academically focused lifestyle of college unavailable to help.

“It’s just a harder environment to learn in when you’re not in a classroom,” Ludy said, noting some of the older professors are not as adept at utilizing technology for teaching.

“I think the transition to online classes is terrible,” Rogers said. “I don’t respond to it too well,” preferring personal interaction with a teacher to time in front of a screen.

“It might seem like this is a whole new way to do education, but I think it’s no substitute,” he said.

Julianna has found some of the so-called group classes awkward, since students don’t have visual cues for interaction that they have in-person.

Yet she’s finding some advantages, she said.

One professor holds “office hours” sessions, which small groups attend, affording her the opportunity to have more direct interaction than she would otherwise.

“I found that that has been a really good opportunity to build a stronger connection,” she said.

“It’s an unprecedented time, and universities are all kind of adjusting as it goes,” Ludy said, much like himself.

Ludy said social distancing makes it especially hard on extraverts like himself, who thrive on being around people.

“It’s really hard to stay inside all day,” he said, and not spend time with friends.

“I don’t think I’m in the majority,” Rogers said, “but I loved coming home and I was very much looking forward to coming home for break.”

“I don’t think that opinion is kind of standard for a lot of college kids,” he said, but this is a bright side to the situation.

“I’m not going to say that I’m not like very upset,” said Julianna, who was scheduled to record with her a cappella singing group before the crisis hit, “but I guess we’re just trying to make the most of it.”

“In a situation like this it’s kind of what has to be done,” she said.