Students Change Future Plans Due to Pandemic

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This stop sign in Creve Couer reminds people to help stop the spread of Covid-19. Covid-19 has stopped many activities and has put a stop to some seniors future plans.

Brandon Lightfoot, Photo Expert

The global pandemic COVID-19 or better known as the coronavirus has changed many things very quickly. Schools have been closed for the remainder of the  year; sports seasons and major events have either been cancelled or postponed. “Normal” everyday activities have now become foreign to us while being under quarantine. With low testing for the virus, nobody really knows how many people have it which may extend how long we are in quarantine. This new “normal” has changed seniors plans for the future.

“It sucks that the schools closed during my senior year. I wish we could go back one more [time] to say goodbye to everyone. I feel like a lot of people wish a lot of things were different right now,” said senior Michael Cotton.

 Some seniors are now uncertain if they will be able to attend college because of financial issues.  Social distancing has forced many jobs to close leaving millions without work. That is a problem for the students who are responsible for paying for their college as well as the families paying for their kids’ schooling.

“The jobs closing is probably the worst part for me because I am paying for college myself. A lot of my friends are without work too. I hope that things open up soon so we can get back to work,” said senior Lonnell Starks.

If things don’t change soon and they are unable to go to work, they may not be able to go to college in the fall. 

According to a poll conducted by Junior Achievement, “27% [of seniors] said their plans after graduation have changed and 44% said the pandemic has affected their plans to pay for college.”

Seniors who are not choosing to go to college also need to save money to be able to support themselves. Students are beginning to use their fall back plan to move forward into the future.

“If worse comes to worse, I will try and just get a trade and go from there. It isn’t necessarily what I want to do but it is what it is. I may even take a gap year until this passes to hopefully go back to work and save more money. We will have to see,” said Starks.

With the stay-at-home order being placed to combat the virus, students and staff have been forced out of the classrooms and into “e-learning”. Homes have now become classrooms, and classes have been limited to weekly video calls. Some seniors have had struggles with staying motivated to finish the year.

“It has been hard keeping motivation for the last [few] weeks because it is a 5% grading system. If they gave us a way to raise our grades more, then I feel like seniors would engage more,” said senior Katie Catalano.

Even though most seniors have already been accepted to a college, their grades will follow them. Some students are concerned that this may impact any decision to change schools, get scholarships, or apply to school at a later date.

The closure of schools also means college campuses are closed making college visits difficult and colleges may be relying on remote learning in the fall as campuses may be able to open up to students or faculty.

“Hopefully colleges can open up soon. If they do have to do remote learning, maybe it will become cheaper. But then again, I do want the actual experience of living on a college campus,’’ said Starks.

According to the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers, “a little more than half of 210 [college officials] said their colleges are talking about the possibility of putting the fall semester entirely online.”

Although there is so much left to unfold in this situation and nobody knows what is to come, many life lessons have been taught to the seniors and everyone else, that hopefully what they learn will help them in their life beyond high school.

“This has taught me a lot about myself and life: you never know what happens next in life, so you have to enjoy everything while you can. You never know when it can be taken from you,” said Cotton.