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College Freshmen Face Many Challenges

By Lauren Azrin

For seniors in the class of 2020, this has been an unexpected and turbulent spring, composed of missing important events like prom and graduation, among others. But for those same seniors entering college this fall, the uncertainty continues. Every college is creating its own unique plan for how to (or how to not) bring students to campus. Some are creating hybrid schedules where only small classes are in-person, while some colleges are going fully online.

For example, the University of Michigan is inviting students back to campus, but as of now, the majority of classes will be online. Allison, an incoming freshman there, said, “Anything could change. The worst part about it is the unknown.” Although she thinks the plan is reasonable, she admits that it’s hard to be excited about college when everything is so uncertain and could change at any time. “I’m sad that I can’t look forward to game days and things like that.”

Macaulay Honors College of the City University of New York system plans to have all classes online, with the exception of experiential (hands-on) courses. Talia, in incoming freshman at the school, said, “I respect the decision of the college, but it doesn’t mean I’m really happy about it.” She reasoned that for her school in NYC it was a good move, but it really depends on the circumstance; a small liberal arts school in a rural area will have an easier time making in-person learning a possibility.

She, like many other incoming freshmen, is upset about missing out on campus life, dorming with new friends, and losing out on special aspects of the program she chose. She and her new roommates, who were already getting to know each other, had to cancel their dorm because of the colleges new online policy. “It definitely changes my excitement for college, especially since I’ve been thinking about college for all of high school and now it looks completely different than how I imagined.”

Whatever plan a school adapts, it isn’t going to be the normal situation that incoming freshman were looking forward to when they applied. Hopefully, life will be back to normal as soon as possible, so the tumultuous journey of the class of 2020 can come to an end, and they can enjoy a normal college experience.

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