Almost weekly in high school a teacher would say “this won’t work in college” to me or a classmate. This was usually in response to us not drafting our papers far enough in advance, or because we wanted to go to the bathroom in the middle of class without asking for permission. Not only can you do both things in college, although you should write papers far in advance, these turned out to not be the struggles we would face as incoming freshmen. Instead, having the last two years of our education be disrupted by COVID-19, then having to go to college, would pose the biggest hurdle.
In an ideal world, the last year of high school is spent preparing for college. One would hopefully take on more interesting and difficult classes, take on leadership roles in clubs, and push towards the end of your high school career. But, with online classes, cancelled activities, and staying home most days, this wasn’t the case for this freshman class.
My school district never went back to in person more than one day per week, and that only lasted for a couple months at a time. While some districts kept in person learning, many also did not, so we are feeling the effects of this.
First up, academic success. When my school switched to distance learning hard work switched off with it. At first this was completely understandable; we were living through a pandemic mind you. However, some classes never picked the academic rigor back up. Classes that used to be hands on and engaging became busy work turned in through Google Classroom. Because of this, the already strange transition to college level work feels even more stark for some.
Freshman, Raigan Linquist, says that her unusual senior year left her feeling less prepared for college. This was unusual because she took online college courses and a fully online high school workload.
“I think I was a little underprepared because I didn’t go to any in person college classes so I didn’t know how an actual class would work. But the amount of work was still intense and prepared me well, in terms of how to manage a schedule. Nothing prepared me for an 8:30 am class though,” said Raigan.
On a non-academic note, my immune system has not been exposed to this many new people in almost 18 months. So, as we all come down with Freshman Flu, remember to actually sleep for eight hours a night every once in a while, and use the hand sanitizer that is located inside every building on campus!