Navigating for an unknown future: Campion seniors share how the pandemic has affected their plans for college
COVID-19 will have left a significant impression for many high school seniors at a point in their lives where decisions are critical. Whether they like it or not, they have to adapt to the changing times of online education platforms, standardized testing, and college applications. The pandemic world has compelled many students to reevaluate their plans for college and careers.
Students like Sharmaine Monreal had already decided on a plan for college before COVID struck. However, things have not been so simple now. She explained, “I planned to go to college overseas but COVID travel restrictions would have made it difficult. So, this opened up a door for me to start looking into American colleges. All my plans have completely changed, but I managed to find a way around them with my parents’ help. I tried to stay positive and prayed a lot. Now I’ll be able to start college in the U.S. this fall.”
Several seniors are having difficulty making their final decision on college without getting to visit a variety of campuses. Ryan Bell was looking forward to visiting colleges in person as a way to get a feel for the right school. He said, "I’m still struggling with coming to the realization that traveling and visiting colleges just isn’t going to happen at this point. It’s disappointing not being able to have experiences that I was expecting before COVID began."
Some students were depending on acquiring a scholarship through activities, such as sports and music, which have been on hold for the majority of the year. Dominick Maldonado shared, “I really wanted to get a soccer scholarship. As a team, we were proud of each other because we went undefeated last year. If we had had a strong soccer season again, there would have been potential for scouts and scholarships. Then COVID hit, and we never got the opportunity to see whether one of us would have gotten even just a small scholarship. I feel like it brought down the team’s morale and whole mindset.”
Despite such challenges, the majority of seniors at Campion are still planning to attend college next year. Colleges are also doing what they can to help students make those decisions by holding virtual events, such as tours and fairs, and sending recruiters to visit our campus. In addition, most universities have waived their requirements for SAT or ACT scores and are accepting students and basing scholarships on grade point averages.
Several students in the class, such as Jayce Treat, are planning to go to Union College, which has been fully open in-person this year. “Even though we didn’t have college days for a big group of students, I was still able to visit Union during my spring break and get a tour of the campus. I’m looking forward to taking the next step in the direction of my career.”
Tiffany Dien, Campion Student News