Pandemic adds to stress of college selection process


Michael Pavetto

2020 has been a difficult year to say the least, a year full of uncertainty and a difficult terrain to navigate. One of the largest and most ongoing struggles has been the life of a student. Going from in person classes and spending their day following their basic routine, to a complete one hundred eighty degree turn around.Students have had to begin taking online classes, all while isolating themselves due to pandemic guidelines and restrictions.

“Online classes seem to be more difficult, mainly because there is no interaction with other students or the professor in person, only on my computer,” said Jillian Sagat.

Being a full time student is difficult enough, but the difficulty increases when a student needs to find a completely new way in which they go about graduating high school or college. This is a particularly difficult year for students applying for college.

“I chose to continue pursuing a career, rather than attempting college. This year is too difficult for me to focus on anything except staying above water financially,” said Noah FletcherFour years of high school, SAT/ACT testing to determine their school of choice.

Figuring out financials, what is affordable? The social pressure of where are my friends going? How far away is too far? 

Those are merely the beginning considerations of a student looking into attending college, now add a global pandemic into the mix.

Now students face the pressure of not knowing how their choice might turn out in the long run. “I chose Oakton because of the pandemic, I was a transfer student. It forced my hand because I did not feel the need to spend so much money to not get the college experience at a big university,” said Dom Internicola.

Now, students are uncertain as to whether or not going to a destination school, or school of their desire is worth pursuing. Most colleges in the country have limited only very few, and specific classes to be taken in person and on campus. Many universities and community colleges are almost one hundred percent online. 

How should a student be confident in their decision to ‘go away to school’ if they are only going away to take online classes and sit in their apartment/dorm? How can a student plan to socialize, play sports, attend desired classes which may not be available (certain sciences requiring labs)? The uncertainty of all of this has driven many students to not pursue college and focus on a career, or to go to a community college and continue living at home. 

“The pandemic has made it very hard to move forward and transition out of Oakton, there are many unknowns and uncertainties that worry me moving forward with college,” said Sagat.

Attending big universities may no longer be the most desirable option, at least now for a while.