College classes, COVID masses

Student coming home after a freshman semester face new challenges due to pandemic

Cooper Piercy, Staff Writer

What’s worse: having to go through your senior year in high school in the COVID-19 pandemic, or having to go through that pandemic during your first moments of true adulthood in college.

Lots of different people would give lots of different answers, but when college freshmen were asked about that very question, there seemed to be a definite trend.

“It was definitely worse for me when I was a senior in high school than it is for me now,” 2020 Millard North graduate, and freshman at the University of Missouri-Columbia, Sireen Abayazid said.

Abayazid cited issues such as a lack of motivation with school and having to adjust to online learning as major issues, summing it up by saying, “senioritis hit really hard.”

However academics isn’t the only reason why people would cite the end of high school as the worst time to experience this pandemic.

“In college, you can still hang out with a lot of friends,” 2020 Millard North graduate, and freshman at New York University, June Van De Graaff said. “I feel like in high school you couldn’t hang out as much as you used to.”

Not everyone is united in the opinion it’s easier to experience the pandemic in college though. Like Aanya Agarwal, another Millard North graduate, and current freshman at Georgetown University.

“I think experiencing the pandemic as a college student is definitely worse,” Agarwal said, “because in high school I didn’t have to worry about getting used to how classes worked, and learning how to study as a college student.”

Although not everyone is able to agree on what the best time to experience a global pandemic, most everyone does appear to be able to agree that the COVID-19 pandemic itself has made their college experiences more difficult.

Of course, none of this is made any easier by students and faculty who take a relaxed approach to this very serious situation.

“There’s two groups in college,” Van De Graaff said, “those who don’t attend indoor parties, and those who don’t believe in COVID.”

Highlighting many of the same issues, Abayazid has been similarly dissatisfied with not only how many of her fellow classmates are handling the virus, but she’s also frustrated with her school’s administration as well.

“I definitely think students should be taking it more seriously than they are,” she said, “but the biggest problem is with the administration, and how lax they’re being with the COVID guidelines. Most people who get in trouble for a COVID violation are let off with a warning.”

She goes on to elaborate just how much the students aren’t taking it seriously, saying “every weekend, there’s at least five parties that I’m hearing about, and definitely more going on.”

Out of everyone though, there’s no one who is having a less normal education then people like Agarwal, who are staying home and attending college virtually.

“There are people exploring D.C., or doing other things without a mask, and it makes me really angry,” she says, “because it’s contributing to the fact that we can’t be on campus.”

And of course, this desire for normalcy brings this back to the high school all of these college students graduated from. 

As these college freshmen have been expressing a desire for a normal college experience, part of responsibility falls on all of us, even in high school, to follow the procedures laid out by professionals, in order to ensure that everyone, whether we be graduating this year, or four years from now, is able to attend college in a safe setting, that allows them to gain the full potential of their education.