Seniors Tour Colleges…Virtually


Irene Beldiman, Senior, Co-News Editor

All through high school, the anticipation of senior year builds up, culminating in one final question: what’s next for the future? For many, the next stage in post-high school life is college. But, in the midst of a pandemic, the college application process has become a completely different ballpark. With most campuses closed to the public, many schools have taken a new approach to giving prospective applicants a view of their campuses: virtual events. Most colleges now offer online tours and information sessions, making details more accessible. But this does this compare to the “real deal”?

As a senior, I was supposed to see a plethora of schools over spring break, but when the pandemic hit, those trips were canceled. Though I started being able to see schools from the comfort of my own home, the lack of an actual campus tour became an obstacle when Common App opened in August. How can one truly develop a liking for a school from a video and a Zoom call? Some schools were still able to convey their messages through a screen, but even then there is still a  lack of stimulation from a real tour. It can be a scary feeling making decisions about your future when your basis for a school is made purely off of what they intend for you to see in something such as a short video. 

Senior Jane Dunbar said, “Applying without seeing a campus in real life is definitely a weird feeling. Going to a virtual event is helpful but it’s hard to get a feel without actually stepping foot on campus”. 

Moreover, school interviews have also been moved to an online platform. When the school year begins, colleges often send representatives out to high schools to reach out to interested applicants. Now, these meetings are all virtual. Again, they can provide insight, but sitting behind a screen is not the ideal way to give the best impression.

Senior Claire Deeney said, “I was really happy I still was able to get in contact with schools I was interested in, but I wish there was a way I could speak to admissions counselors in person.”

With so much in question, it certainly makes the application process even more stressful. Having to reinvent the new normal due to COVID-19 can create a sense of unease, but it’s certainly a period of reinventing, and a chance for students to get a new perspective on the college application process.