By Alex Snow

This past semester was unlike any other. Emily just recently completed her sophomore year at the University of Minnesota from the inside of her bedroom. Quite possibly a college student’s worst nightmare – paying out of state tuition to live at home. There is a quote that says “when your children are teenagers, it is important to have a dog so someone is happy to see you.” Free food is never a bad thing, though.

Despite never returning to campus following her spring break, “with COVID-19 I think I’ve been doing pretty well.” She misses living with her friends in Minneapolis but stays in touch with them via Zoom which is a video conferencing platform that has replaced in person lectures. Most of Emily’s classes were lecture or essay based so they “transferred pretty well” but others did not. She is currently studying architecture so her education is “all about in-person critiques and learning from others.”

Students worldwide are struggling to make the most of their online education but “not being there in person, you miss a lot of the small details.” Some professors decided to reduce their workload to accommodate for the circumstances. Depending on a student’s living situation, this could be seen as a good or bad thing. “A lot of my classes, despite going online alright, have really cut down on the content they’re teaching which has been annoying because some of my classes were super interesting before COVID-19.”

Staying motivated has been the main challenge. Living at home presents distractions that were once avoided by going to a library, coffee shop, etc. and personal concerns regarding health or finances cause students to stress about things that they normally would not have to think about. “My apartment at school primed me to always feel like I needed to be productive, but now that I’m disconnected from that, it’s harder to focus.”

When asked to reflect on her experience with Parros College Planning, she emphasized that “Parros suggested the University of Minnesota as a possible college to apply to, so I wouldn’t be at the college I am now without their guidance. Being able to talk with people that know the ins and outs of the application process was so useful.”

Emily, like many of us, is hopeful that there will be a football season. It would be her third year in the drumline.

We would like to help reduce any stress or confusion you may have with the current college admissions process given COVID-19. Please reach out if you have any questions or concerns!