Covid-19 changes college plans for Wilson graduates

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Photo courtesy of Anna Dueholm

Sophia Hosford

Due to the pandemic, many Wilson graduates have changed their plans. Whether it be taking a gap year or learning online, Wilson’s class of 2020 have had to continue to adapt to unforeseen circumstances.

 As students gear up for and settle into online learning, Anna Dueholm, a freshman at Clemson, has begun her college experience virtually. “I’m [hopefully] moving in next Saturday, but for now, I’m taking all the same classes I would’ve taken, in an online format. Some are synchronous and we have ‘live’ classes or lectures with zoom meetings and others are asynchronous,” she explained. When asked if she likes the set-up, Dueholm expressed that it’s, “definitely not my favorite, but I think it’s the best setup possible given the circumstances. Most of my classes would theoretically be discussion-based, so that is definitely not the same online.” 

Bronson Bukowski, a first year at SUNY Oswego, has had to navigate the beginning of his college experience through a hybrid model. “I only have two in-person classes and they are only like eight people so there’s enough space for social distance. I feel very safe while walking around campus and when I’m in the buildings,” Bukowski said, adding that, “[the administration] tested everyone before they could move in so I feel like they are taking preventative measures.”

Paola Trinh, a freshman at The New School in New York City, considered deferring a semester but decided to get her requirements out of the way, even though her courses are online. Compared to Wilson, Trinh found that The New School’s set up for virtual learning was much more engaging. “I felt like Wilson kind of gave up. All the work they gave us was busy work and most of the Zoom meetings were dumb. The main difference now is that I get to take part in classes that are actually interesting and useful.” Though Trinh wishes she could be in New York City and meet her classmates, similarly to Dueholm, she understands that, “being online is what’s best for everyone.”

Maren Dunn decided to take a gap year and will start at Tufts University next year,  “I didn’t want to pay a ton for school that I wouldn’t get the full experience for. I am full-time babysitting right now, helping two kids with virtual learning. I am also volunteering with Blue Future, which is a progressive movement that connects young people to political campaigns. I am also helping a high school senior with their college essays through another volunteer program,” she explained. “In January, I’m hoping to go travel and meet up with my friend in Panama who is currently on a gap year as well. Then, I hope to go to England, quarantine there and see my other friend in Brussels. After that, I’ll be able to backpack through Europe,” Dunn said. 

Despite the challenges brought on by the pandemic, Wilson’s 2019 graduates have made the most of their situations in true Tiger fashion.