• Rachel Rodriguez

COVID and College: What a Pair

Since the pandemic began it has left many students in a bind about how they would continue their learning. Whether it be switching to virtual or continuing face to face everyone has their own preferences. When it comes down to your last year in high school this pandemic begins to also affect your decisions for your future. With the first semester soon coming to an end that means college application deadlines are also approaching quickly.

College is a big decision, and it was made more stressful when visiting opportunities and learning has changed. Many colleges are hosting virtual events where student can join zoom meetings to gather more information about that specific college. Financial aid events, housing information and even application questions are all being turned into virtual meetings. Everyone knows life can be a little crazy and plans may change, which is also why recorded meetings can be posted onto websites or sent via e-mail to ensure you are up to date with all your college information. For those who are not yet comfortable with the idea of being around a lot of others campus tours are also available on college websites virtually.

“Although I am ready to start the new chapter of my life, I am thankful for the experiences and lessons my previous chapters have taught me. I have already been accepted to a few colleges and cannot wait to see how my life after high school will be like.” senior Sophia Perez states on whether she is ready to start her college journey.

Going to college can you leave you with a great education, new friends and a new experience. However, college can also leave you in debt once you graduate. Believe it or not, there are many scholarships that go unclaimed every year. Many students tend to apply to the bigger scholarships in attempt to win big money for college. Though any small amount of money you receive will really help you. The unclaimed scholarships are mainly the smaller scholarships that many different websites have to offer. https://www.niche.com/ , https://bold.org/ , and https://www.fastweb.com/ are just a few websites where you can match to scholarships and find ones that fit you. There are many more websites out there that will also provide you with chances to win money for college. A good tip is to start a list of scholarships in order of the deadlines. However, you always want to apply to them in the earlier window to have a better chance at being at the top of the application list.

COVID has affected many seniors which can be seen in a positive or negative way. Take senior Arnold Canales and K-La Barrera for example.

“If anything, COVID made it easier for me to apply for college because they didn’t expect too much since it ruined everything” stated Canales on how COVID has affected his college application process.

Colleges have doubled down on the application process by deciding to let students opt out of sending their SAT or ACT test scores. This has relieved some pressure off the students who are having a harder time trying to learn in the environment the pandemic has created. Another good thing coming out of this situation is that a few colleges are also adding questions about how COVID has impacted students’ families financially. These are to be reviewed and taken into consideration when deciding whether students could possibly earn more financial aid to help pay for college.

“COVID has made school extremely harder. It’s like the school only cares about money rather than our health” says Barrera when asked the same question about how the pandemic has affected her and her studies.

Other students as well are concerned about their health and with no definite time our lives can go back to somewhat normal, they are beginning to worry about college life. With college having a bigger population on campus it brings the question on whether or not some should enroll into a smaller community college for their first year before heading off to a big university amidst the pandemic. Whatever you decide to do be sure you are doing it in the best of interest for yourself and what will make the most comfortable.

College is a long process full of decisions that are going to change your life. Remember to plan everything out and make a check lists of what you still need to accomplish. If something is taken from this story let it be that deadlines are crucial, apply to as many scholarships as you can no matter how small the award is, if you feel the need to you can always opt out of sending test scores, going to a smaller college at first is okay, and always remember that this is your path you are planning so do what makes you comfortable.

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