How college visits looked different for the class of 2021


Georgia Cardenas

Back in April, Gabi Miller ‘21 visited Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana.

We all know the pandemic has turned every aspect of our lives around, and, for high school seniors, this means getting into college has been challenging. The application process has always been difficult, but it became even harder to tackle with all the unanswered questions that the class of 2021 had to face. How could college admissions require test scores for 2021 if so many students weren’t able to take the SAT/ACT? How did colleges take into consideration the fact that so many internships and other extracurricular opportunities were canceled or postponed? How are Tologs supposed to feel confident at a new place that they’ve never visited? 

One of the most crucial parts of choosing a college — physically visiting the campus — looked entirely different for the class of 2021. This year, a lot of FSH students had no choice but to apply to colleges they had never been to before. In my case, I hadn’t even been to some of the states that my schools were in. 

“I was worried for a while because I had never been on campus at the schools I actually wanted to go to. Thankfully, virtual tours at a lot of schools were offered, so that helped a little, but it’s just not the same,” Blu Mackey ‘21 said. 

Martyna Małolepszy ‘21 knew that she wanted to visit her potential schools, but she was only able to visit schools that were accessible by car. 

“I knew that I wanted to go to a school that I had been to, so my options were limited, but once I toured San Diego State, I knew that everything was going to work out,” Malolepszy ‘21 said. 

Many girls found a way to travel safely during months leading up to applications, but they recall seeing once-crowded campuses empty, which doesn’t help prospective students get a true sense of how life at that school is.

“I know college campuses don’t normally feel so empty, but it was hard to envision myself happy in a place like that,” Nicole Bednar ‘21 said. 

I consider myself lucky because I waited until spring break to visit the colleges I was interested in. There were many students on campus and that really helped me envision myself there in the future. Not only was my experience visiting the actual schools great but visiting schools also made me excited for what’s to come. I saw firsthand how a “new normal” can actually be fun. I’m so grateful that the world is beginning to open up while I begin the next chapter of my life. 

“A big silver lining of this process has been the fact that the world is beginning to open up again. It was already exciting to look forward to the next four years, but with that added benefit, it makes me anticipate it even more,” Christina Costanzo ’21 said.