A future on pause

How should juniors keep moving towards their college goals during the pandemic?

College+Board%27s+SAT+is+taken+to+help+get+accepted+into+college.+Wikimedia+no+modifications+made.

College Board's SAT is taken to help get accepted into college. Wikimedia no modifications made.

Felisha Campanello, News Editor

In a pre-COVID-19 world, juniors spent their time learning about and anticipating the college application process. Now, due to COVID-19, standardized tests, campus visits, and college decisions have been postponed and even cancelled. 

Because life is changing daily with the impact of COVID-19, teens may not feel the need to prepare for anything in the future. Therefore, with so much being cancelled, how do students keep up the motivation to continue with their college search plan? 

Here is what students SHOULD be doing instead of putting their life on pause.

Studying for the SAT’s

Even though COVID-19 may have cancelled the SAT’s for the final semester of 2020. This doesn’t mean college-bound students will never need to take it. 

Junior Luis Cruz was planning on taking the SAT a second time to improve his score, so he made plans to put in some extra study time during the stay-at-home order. 

But, not being in school and having a normal routine has been tough.

“It’s definitely hard to study while keeping up with school at the same time,” Cruz said. “I’ve tried fitting SAT work in on Saturday’s for 15 minutes.”

Making matters even more challenging, College Board has cancelled tests scheduled for June and July, but registration is now open for their fall dates: August 29, Sept. 26, and Oct. 3. See THIS LINK for registration deadlines and details.

Students can also anticipate an SAT testing day to be scheduled at Elkhart High West Campus during the school day. Counselor Allison Makowski explained that the testing opportunity will first be offered to upcoming seniors who are most in need of taking the test. The actual test date is still pending, but the plans are in the works.

Makowski also shared that if a student was previously scheduled to take the test and paid at school, guidance will refund them so that they can choose if they want to take the test on the reschedule date.

So even though we are isolation and we don’t have access to the Media Center, there are other resources that we have access to in order to study.

  1. College Board has lots of free SAT questions that any student can use. Makowski recommends that students link their College Board to Khan Academy so that they have access to practice questions based on their PSAT scores and the areas they need help on the most.
  2. There are also SAT books that students can purchase at many different places such as Barnes and Noble, Amazon, or even Target.
  3. Don’t want to purchase one? Then request it from the Elkhart Public Library and pick it up. If you use Libby to read electronically, the public library also offers titles such as “SAT for Dummies”, “SAT, 2018-2019 Edition: The Underground Guide to Outsmarting ‘The Test’”, and “The Official ACT Prep Guide” online for free check out.

Talking to Recruiters 

With the cancelation of spring sports, it is difficult to keep up the motivation for the recruiting process. 

But, checking in with coaches and staying up to date with them can provide athletes with up-to-date information about their prospective school of choice and if anything has changed or been updated about school visits. 

Junior Dylan Rost is a shortstop for the Elkhart Memorial Baseball team. Rost began his baseball career when he was five years old and hopes to continue through college. 

“My biggest goal has been to get a hold of as many coaches as possible during this time,” Rost said. “Due to not being able to play in front of coaches right now, I have included in my emails to coaches videos of me from showcases in the past.”

Rost also spent his time during the stay at home order doing his research and using every way possible to contact coaches. 

“I have emailed, texted, and called many coaches,” Rost shared. “Since there are no college visits going on right now, I have gone through and watched a few virtual tours of colleges in order to see the campus.”

Basically, athletes. Don’t give up. Even though the spring season was cancelled and the practice and game schedule for the fall may be up in the air, there are still ways that athletes can continue to pursue their college athletic goals.

“All you can do is put yourself out there and show your interest in their program. Share videos and numbers with them so they can evaluate parts of you as a player through an email,” Rost said. 

Going On Virtual Tours

During isolation, colleges closed their campuses for visits, but during the pandemic, there are a number of other resources that students can take advantage of. For example, most colleges have a virtual campus tours that can be accessed on their website.

Junior Jaylen Holmes is using virtual tours as a resource to make a more informed decision about the colleges he might apply to. 

“I’ve looked at some virtual visits online and it is a great way to learn about different colleges and their programs,” Holmes said. 

With COVID-19 putting a pause on a number of aspects of our lives, there are still actions that juniors can take to prepare them for the future.