Covid or not: South seniors start applying to college

John Beggs, Staff Writer

‘Tis the season of joy, heartbreak, and waiting. It’s time for the seniors of Bloomington South to apply to colleges. Whether it be the monotonous task of filling out the CommonApp or the especially dreaded personal essays, South’s seniors have got a lot on their plates. In addition to that, they’re having to come to terms with the fact that in nine months, they will no longer have the blanket of high school juvenility to protect them from the outside world. That battle starts on May 29, but as of now, they’re in the fight of their lives against admissions committees all around the country.

You may be tired of hearing the phrase “this year it’s being done differently,” but it’s important to know how the pandemic has affected the admissions process. At the forefront of the challenges the upperclassmen face is the inability to go on college visits. Traveling right now is dangerous as it is, but it’s even more unsafe to go places filled with a bunch of people from all over the country. Because of that, college visits aren’t happening, thus causing high school seniors to scrounge the internet for pictures of their potential campuses. Pictures just don’t give a solid feel of a place. That’s an extremely important factor when evaluating schools.

While Covid may be making the process harder, some things are getting easier. Colleges across the country are doing away with their standardized test score requirements. That makes them more likely to look at a candidate’s whole person rather than to reduce them to a number. South students are involved with a thousand different activities and it’s a positive change for universities to start recognizing them. It’s very common for a student to do very well in all of their classes, but not well on their early Saturday morning, four-hour test. 

Senior Lucia Walker gave some promising insight on this. “[Taking away the requirement] didn’t affect me because I had already taken the SAT, but I think that it definitely allows it to be more equitable for those who don’t have the opportunities timewise or financially to take it.” Walker is planning to apply to five schools in the coming weeks, and is excited about the opportunities that lay ahead.

To go along with all of that uncertainty, there are many misconceptions about the college admissions process. For instance, students are told that a safe bet for admission to their dream school is having a long list of extracurricular activities on their resume. Sure, being well-rounded is great. But a bunch of superficial activities are outweighed by a total investment in something that the applicant truly cares about. Believe it or not, colleges can tell when either of those two things is happening.

Senior Ethan Uhls brought his perspective on this matter. “I think that when it comes to a resume it is better to be well rounded because it shows that you have multiple skills and you can apply yourself to a wide range of things instead of being one dimensional.” 

No matter what happens in the next few months regarding the pandemic, the admissions process will go on. Seniors will prevail as they always have, and as Walker said, “I’m still very excited about college and all of the great things that the future holds.”