The high school class of 2020 was born after 9/11 and saw the first African-American president inaugurated when they were in second grade. Now, their first taste of adulthood is marked by the pandemic.
They most likely wouldn’t have imagined finishing their senior year of high school confined in their homes watching their graduation virtually through a screen.
According to a recent survey by the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, around 30.9% of high school students said that the pandemic has caused them to worry or have anxiety.
The rate of COVID-19 cases is increasing day by day, and it doesn’t seem to slow down. Even with states reopening businesses and letting the public gather slowly, it doesn’t mean that things are going back to normal.
Another wave of COVID-19 cases is imminent. It will likely come in the fall, according to Dr. Anthony Facui who spoke in the Economic Club of Washington webinar on April 28.
These high school seniors didn’t sign up for their first semester of college to be entirely online. The thought of skipping the incoming fall semester is enticing for many high school seniors with the hope that things will improve.
But, according to an article published by Inside Higher Ed, research has shown that students that delay their college enrollment are less likely to graduate and may have their long-time earnings penalized. A study in 2005 suggested that students that delay their enrollment are 64% less likely to achieve a bachelor’s degree than their “on-time” peers.
High school seniors should try to re-plan and refocus their energy into being as productive as possible.
According to a USA Today article by Chris Quintana, he said that if first-generation and low-income students take a semester off to wait for a more stable outcome, it could mean they never graduate.
High school seniors must weigh their options of not attending or attending the upcoming fall semester. Almost every student and their family are experiencing unique circumstances that make it hard for them to make life-altering decisions.
For some, choosing to attend the university they worked so hard to get into is no longer an option because of the economic downfalls.
But, the opportunity to have a productive and engaging first semester at college is still there.
Community college can be the best option for high school seniors. Many community colleges are working hard and preparing to receive the incoming freshmen class this fall semester.
High school seniors shouldn’t let the pandemic delay their journey into becoming a college student.