COVID-19 affects current college students and graduating high school seniors


Ericka Muncy

The Century Tower at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida,

COVID-19, widely known as coronavirus, is not only significantly impacting the lives of doctors, nurses, custodians and grocers but also students and educators. When COVID-19 made its way to America in early March, colleges and universities had to make some hard decisions. 

After President Trump’s travel ban on March 12, college administrators told their students they had a short time to pack up their dorms and head home for the rest of the academic year. 

For nearly one month, depending on the university, college students have been engaged in online schooling, and this will continue for the foreseeable future. Colleges have taken great measures in ensuring their students stay safe and healthy, and sending them home to continue their education does just that. 

According to an article in the U.S. News & World Report, international students will have the opportunity to stay on campus where social distancing is a must, or they may return to their place of residence. For the international students, they have to deal with the added stress of checking their visa status. 

In the U.S., colleges are doing the best they can trying to help current students and incoming freshmen who plan to attend their institutions in the fall. Many Students who have been accepted to a Florida college or university choose to complete a summer session to get a head start on classes and a feel of campus life. 

Now that colleges have moved to remote learning, high school seniors are worried they may have to face their start to college through videos, online chats and virtual assignments. 

Carley McCammon is a Jupiter High senior who will be attending the University of Florida beginning this summer.

“We will begin the summer session on June 29. As of now, it will be in person, but I believe it will get changed to virtual learning before it begins,” McCammon said. 

Students who will be starting UF this year have received numerous emails of changes going back and forth between in-person or virtual learning. It’s confusing, and high school seniors want the in-person experience of college learning.

“It’s going to be difficult to learn from PowerPoint slides or watching videos online, rather than having a professor who will actually care for my success and truly want me to learn in the best way,” McCammon said. 

Kelsey Sater is a Jupiter High senior who will be attending the University of Central Florida this summer.

“I’m supposed to be staying on campus in a dorm for my classes, but with the virus it’s most likely going to end up all online for the summer,” Sater said.

Like colleges, high schools across the nation have turned to virtual learning to finish out the school year. This is helpful for high school seniors who can gain experience with virtual learning, but they are disappointed in not being able to physically go to college.

“Personally, I learn better from an in-person class rather than online,” Sater said. “With these next couple of weeks with high school online, it may make the transition easier.” 

Like UF, UCF has been updating students regularly on the status of their summer sessions. Summer B session will most likely be canceled, with courses moving online.

Joshua Kevelson, a Jupiter High senior, will be attending Florida State University this summer.

“It’s frustrating doing all of my classes in one spot at home, and I definitely feel more lazy than if I was at school,” Kevelson said.FSU shut down all campus operations, closing its doors until at least April 30.  Only essential personnel are permitted on campus. Like his fellow JHS students, this is disappointing for Kevelson.

 “I like being able to go into a classroom to learn and being in a more productive environment than at my desk at home,” he said. 

Across the nation, most college campuses have closed their doors until further notice and have not made updates to future events happening on campus, as it is hard to keep up with the growing numbers of the virus.

Pennsylvania State University has informed their students that no one is allowed on campus grounds until May 15. This is subject to change, like all other school dates, but helps give a leeway for students who need in-person instruction for their summer session. 

High School seniors sadly have to face the harsh reality of what has come, and what’s in the near future of their college career.