Seniors prepare for college amid Covid-19 restrictions


Photo submitted by Elaine McCloskey

Senior Isabella McCloskey signed to play lacrosse at the College of Wooster.

Harley Barnhart, Staff Writer

Over the past year, the Covid-19 pandemic has brought many changes to people’s everyday lives.
Although most people have been impacted in many different ways, those within the graduating class of 2021 have had many similar changes, one being their college admissions experience.
“This class is more likely to be impacted by the pandemic than last year’s class,” said admissions counselor at Ohio Wesleyan University, Laurie Patton. “Last year’s class was three fourths of the way through their college search before the pandemic hit and shut things down.” Since the 2021 graduating class has missed out on different experiences during their senior year of high school, it has led to some concerns about what their first year at college will be like.
“I feel like I won’t have some of those first college experiences because of the pandemic for my freshman year,” senior Isabella McCloskey said.
Although some students have shared concerns about what their college experience will be like, Hayes college and career counselor Jennifer Pollard suggests students seek help if their questions are not addressed on a college website.
“If seniors have concerns, I would definitely encourage them to reach out to their college admissions representative at the college or address those concerns in their orientation sessions this summer,” Pollard said.
Since the graduating class has not had a normal college search experience, Patton said that she expects more students to look at schools close to them this year.
“We’ve heard that more students will likely stay closer to home for college because of the pandemic,” Patton said. “We also anticipate that more students will choose to start at a community college to save money.”
Choosing a school for a student’s college education is a hard decision and can be even more difficult due to the fact that some seniors were unable to visit schools this year.
College visits are a way to educate students about what different schools offer to make sure they are making the right decision about where they want to go, and many students aren’t getting that opportunity.
While students have had a different experience this year in their college search, most people seem to be bringing up the same concerns.
“I think a student’s biggest concern, as they are going through the college search process, is how ‘normal’ their college experience will be,” Patton said.
Regardless of what students are choosing to do next year, Pollard said she wants people to know that she is here to help.
“I am always happy to speak to seniors and their families if talking through the pros and cons helps them make the best decision for them,” Pollard said.