The Senior Class’s Changing Plans

Many students now reconsider their plans to start college in the fall with the COVID-19 pandemic

Communities around our globe have stepped up, or rather, stepped down, to stop the spread of the most recent coronavirus, hoping to save millions of lives in the process. Since viruses do not discriminate, there have been valiant efforts from people from all walks of life, including the world’s high-schoolers. Due to new restrictions, almost all of the globe’s 2020 graduates have had to swallow the bitter pill of not being able to finish their high-school careers in person. New restrictions along with a harmful spread of illness have also led these graduates and their families to have to think about the future, both out of practicality and out of regard for their own health. 

Poly Prep’s Class of 2020 is no different. On March 10th, there was a question whether they were going back to Poly, but this June, it is whether they will be attending their new institutions on time in the Fall.

For most of Poly’s Seniors, it’s been an overwhelmingly popular choice to accept offers for enrollment in the fall in the hopes that our world will calm down in the coming months. However, that decision does not come without doubt and concern about whether or not their plans will be potentially halted by COVID-19. 

This feeling of uncertainty rings especially true for many such as seniors Tommy Bennett and Olivia Hurley. 

Bennet, one of Poly’s elite ultimate frisbee athletes expressed: “My family and I have been doing a lot of thinking when it comes to trying to decide where my next journey will be in life. Whether that be a gap year or at school, we are just trying to do what is best for me and in turn our family.” 

Hurley, one of Poly’s shining community organizers, expressed the options this pandemic has created for the seniors, as she toys with “deferring for a year and taking classes at other schools, taking a stereotypical gap year, or just accepting enrollment and hoping that classes will not be online in the fall.” 

No matter the specifics, however, both Bennet and Hurley plan to be attending the University of Richmond and UC Davis, respectively, at some point in the future.

Talk about a possible gap year is not uncommon in the homes of Poly’s senior class as more students than ever worldwide have been pushed to take time off, both for their sanity and global health. This inevitable increase in gap years, unfortunately, means that there may be fewer spots available for the Class of 2020.

Former student body Vice President and a constant voice of reason, senior Molly O’Connor, has a sister in the Class of 2021 and stressed that “With all these new gap years, I am worried about my sister’s admissions process next year.” 

Plenty of seniors have used this time to hone in on their passions, as Tayo Illunga-Reed and Jack Clothier are using this opportunity to take prep years for their future football and baseball careers.

Despite Covid-19’s ability to stop the flow of the world dead in its tracks, Poly Prep’s Class of 2020 has only further proved their durability and adaptability, and as a member of this class, I feel proud to be amongst a group of students who never let these unfortunate events dampen their pride or their ambitions.