Coronavirus, college and the effect on seniors

Photo+courtesy+of+Pixabay.

Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

Emma Lupica, Editor-in-Chief

With the ever-looming threat of the coronavirus, students are faced with many challenges. One that stands out for seniors is making the life-changing decision of what college to attend. The weight that is set on college choices is not a light one and the development of the coronavirus has given seniors yet another bump on the road to graduation. 

“After three years of being in high school, you look forward to all of the fun things that only the senior class gets to do,” senior Ashlinn McGovern said. “Last year we watched the senior class have so much fun and cried at graduation when you realize it’s over for them. The last week of high school everyone comes together to cherish our last few days at Carlsbad and it is a bittersweet moment on that Thursday when we walk across that stage. It is very hard to think about the idea that we won’t get that feeling. The whole year everyone is making plans for the second semester when our workload is lighter and we can’t even hang out with our friends. It is just very hard imagining that the times we experienced last year with the class of 2019 is going to be the closest thing to graduation as we get.”

After hearing back from colleges, seniors are readying themselves for this new chapter in a much different way than years before them. Since most seniors don’t find out about their college acceptances until late March, the chance to go visit their top choices is no longer an option. Can you imagine attending a college and living somewhere for four years sight unseen? 

“It is a very different experience visiting campus when you are a prospective student and when you are an admitted student,” McGovern said. “Most college decisions do not come out until May, and those decisions are typically the most important ones. As I never got to walk on to a college campus as an admitted student, rather on my own time with a short campus tour, it was hard to imagine myself actually going to college because I wasn’t admitted yet. College is very expensive and it’s hard making a decision without that ‘feeling’ of knowing that school is the right fit.”

The stuff we get to experience as seniors in high school shape us into the people we become”

— Ashlinn McGovern

Many seniors are working their way through these challenges as we speak. Does touring a college virtually provide the same information as walking the campus in real life? No longer are students able to walk into dorms, talk with current students or see classrooms where they will spend their days. 

“The stuff we get to experience as seniors in high school shape us into the people we become,” McGovern said. “The decisions we make define our character. We do not get to experience the majority of what we have been looking forward to in the past three years. The thought of our fall semester being online is heartbreaking because after being home for three weeks I’m ready to get out and move on and starting college sounds pretty good to me right now. It seems a waste of time and money to make a decision on a college to be online again. After our senior year being ‘taken away from us,’ the last thing we need is to not be able to start our futures.”

The worst part of it is, if you are able to come to a decision on a school without seeing the campus, then you jump into the next phase of uncertainty. Will Freshman Orientation still happen? Will the sororities and fraternities still hold rush? Will students even begin classes for the fall semester, living in dorm rooms less than six feet apart from others? Will it be possible to attend classes since there will most definitely be more than 10 people in each class? Should I buy a plane ticket to start the fall semester? If the fall semester moves online, will the tuition be reduced? If the school doesn’t start up, is it best to take a gap year or stay local? The poor seniors of the class of 2020 are facing a lot of uncertainty for their future.