Currently: College Visits & Back to School Amidst COVID-19

August 21, 2020


College Visits Amidst COVID-19

As a rising senior in high school, I will be applying to colleges in the fall, and so my family decided to drive up north to safely visit a few schools while also squeezing in a final trip before the academic year resumes. Unfortunately, I went on very few college visits during my junior year. I was was very busy with schoolwork, field hockey games every weekend in the fall, and other commitments, and so it made visiting colleges difficult. We had planned to take advantage of a long weekend in my spring trimester and the summer to visit more schools, but of course our plans were thwarted due to coronavirus. Though visiting schools is not the same this year and it is difficult to get a grasp of campus life without the buzz of students walking around, I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to take this trip and see at least a couple of the colleges on my list. For so many students, including myself, virtual tours and information sessions have had to replace visits for most or all colleges. It is important to remember, though, that while the college process may seem more daunting or unclear, the new challenges faced by rising seniors are quite trivial compared to the terrible tragedies unleashed by the virus.


A Strange Sort of School Year

As of now, my school is planning on reopening for in-person classes in early September. Of course, classes and campus life will look very different this year. Aside from the necessary requirement for all students and faculty members to wear masks and to stay socially distant, my school has created an entirely new schedule in an attempt to reduce contact between students and, if the school must go completely virtual, to make the transition to online learning easier. Whereas in the past students typically have had five or six classes a day and the same set of classes per trimester, students will now have only two classes each trimester that are much longer and faster paced. I experienced a similar style of schedule in my ninth grade before I transferred to the school I attend now, so I am hopeful that that background may be helpful in having a smoother transition to this new schedule. Around 15% of the student body has chosen to only take virtual classes due to travel restrictions and other reasons, and so campus will also feel strange in that it will be smaller and there will be fewer familiar faces. My school has made it clear, though, that the current plan is subject to change given new information about COVID-19 and its spread, so while I am set to resume school in person in a little less than a month, an announcement that the reopening of school will be pushed back could be made any moment.


Reading



In keeping with the theme of school, I thought I would share one of the books I am reading as a part of the requirement for my English class this year: Death of a Salesman. Death of a Salesman is technically a stage play that was written by Arthur Miller in 1949. Even though it seems strange to read a play, I actually enjoy the break from traditional novels. I also find it fun to read the stage directions and imagine what the scenes would look like acted out, and feel that taking note of the small actions of the characters - such as a small sigh or sudden movement - provides greater insight into their distinct personalities. Because I wanted to have the book fresh in my mind before returning to school, I read all of the non-academic books that I chose to read for pleasure at the start and in the middle of the summer and saved Death of a Salesman for last. So, while I am not yet very far into the play, I have enjoyed the few scenes I have read and am excited to finish the book.  

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