As schools across the country prepare to finish the academic year online, there is still uncertainty about how schools will function this fall. Certain systems such as the CSU system have announced that they will continue with distance learning through the fall. As of now, some schools plan on returning to campus, but not all students are comfortable with that.
Many high school seniors are already facing much uncertainty regarding decisions for plans after graduation. This decision is complicated enough, and coupled with shelter-in-place orders all across the country, many seniors have found themselves reconsidering. A recent survey found that about one third of high school seniors would rather defer their admission than attend online school.
Mitch Zheng,a West Campus senior that will be attending UC Berkeley this fall, explained “Well for me as a Berkeley student, my first semester will definitely be impacted, but I don’t know to what extent. First of all, they said that they are ready for online classes, but they are also going to keep campus open. But the reason for having campus open is kinda sketchy, ‘cause it’s mostly to get funds from sports.”
Many students are also struggling with the lack of consistency coming from their schools. Mitch Zheng continued, “They also said they are trying to have an in person orientation, so it’s been very confusing on what they’re trying to do. If campus is open, I’m going to move out to the dorms because I want the college experience (especially because of the prestige and large shift Berkeley will be). So that’s why I need to move to the dorms because I need a shift in mindsets. If I take online classes, I’ll still feel like a high schooler sleeping through class, not a prepared college student.”
Beyond the academic aspect of distance learning, many high school seniors feel they are missing out on final opportunities to spend time with their loved ones before moving away. West Campus senior, Jack Slavin, explained “I planned on going to community college, which will now be online classes. This isn’t terribly inconvenient but it has disrupted my summer plans to travel with friends and family.”
Despite all that has transpired the past few months, many seniors are still trying to remain positive. West Campus senior, William Ton, explained “Of course this (school closure) is a disappointment, as I may not get to move into a dorm and begin the typical college experience, however I am hopeful this will make us stronger in the future.”