COVID affects college planning


Photo by Kaitlin Geisler

Five seniors talk about their individual struggles or achievements with college planning and any relation to COVID.

At some point in a student’s high school career, college starts to become a prominent thought; do they want to go or not, if they do where, for what, how, etc. But at the very least, students are typically thinking about college going into their senior year. COVID has had an impact on several different aspects of life, but one students may not have seen coming was its impact on college planning.
“I think for some kids, [COVID] was a convenient excuse. I think for others they did really struggle significantly,” Carl Krause, college and career counselor, said. “When you’re struggling in high school, and barely keeping your head above water, I think that thinking about the next step is super difficult.”

Either way, according to a Bear Facts Survey, 70% of current seniors say they have been struggling with the college search process, while their reasons tend to vary.

“I’m able to do virtual visits on the school’s website or a zoom meeting which is easier than actually having to drive to the school,” Alexandra Rauchfuss, senior, said. “But I think the college search process has been kind of difficult because it’s very overwhelming task to have to decide what school you want to go to for the next four years and decide a career for the rest of your life. I think that having people to help you with the process is really important. I am lucky that I have older siblings who have gone through college that I can ask for advice and Mr. Krause has also been a great resource.”

“Visiting the college campus truly helps me with deciding the school I want to go to, but with COVID precautions most tours of the campus were canceled,” Megan Irvine, senior, said. “Plus I had a lack of motivation because I was constantly at home and always doing online classes, which didn’t put me in a good mindset for school in general.”

“Being stuck at home for a while kind of gave me a lack of motivation for overall school. Then being back for senior year, it’s all about college and getting back into the swing of things and I just did not feel that motive that most seniors get,” Sean Washburn, senior, said. “I don’t feel that senioritis to go to college, I feel not even ready whatsoever. I honestly feel like I am not really either ahead or behind I’m kind of just with everyone else. I have talked around to other people and a lot of other people feel unmotivated as well they know where they want to go but they haven’t even explored the campus yet.”

“I think what’s been the most difficult is just getting into the mindset and having the realization that I am going to college. All the applying, writing essays, and meeting with people is preparation for life more than anything else,” Natalie Dziubinski, senior, said. “I think more about the fact that you are starting a new chapter in your life with college that requires a higher level of maturity. I will gain a lot of new freedoms and responsibly that I didn’t get have before.”

“The process has been a bit slow and difficult because of most campuses not allowing tours in person, and some schools have different rules when it comes to COVID and what they accept,” Daniel Kim, senior, said. “I think I struggled most with not being able to visit most places due to either me having a full schedule, or them not being open yet.”