College-bound during COVID-19

Transitioning from high school to college during a pandemic

COVID-19 has changed the way America has to function for now.Included in that change is the process of how students transition into college from high school. For Waynesburg University, on-campus tours have changed, explained Admissions Counselor Kyle Digiandomenico. 

“From an on campus perspective, we’re limited to how many families we can invite to campus in a given day,” Digiandomenico said. “This significantly limits how many students we are able to meet with and recruit.”

Digiandomenico continued explaining how the process for off-campus recruiting has changed significantly as well.

“Off campus, our fall travel cycle has been all but canceled,” Digiandomenico said. “So, we’re looking at alternative ways to meet with students.”

 COVID-19 has transitioned many schools and events online along with recruitment mediums like college fairs and school meetings. 

“High schools in the area are allowing representatives to meet with students virtually. Other college fairs that we’ve attended are moving to virtual platforms” Digiandomenico said. “We’re not sure how this will affect the recruitment style.”

College does not look the same for incoming freshman students, but for Ryan Sullivan it was an easy transition from high school.

“The transition was easy for me because I’m a pretty independent person,” Sullivan said. “Also, I have a few friends here from high school which made the transition more comforting.”

However, for some students it was not as easy. Freshman student Petra Bray expressed her struggle with homesickness.

“Originally in the first few days no because my roommate hadn’t moved in yet. I thought I wouldn’t miss home for a while, but I missed it immediately,” Bray said. “However, a few days afterwards and after getting close to some people, it felt natural to be here.”

Making their decision to come to Waynesburg was also in play. Bray expressed if Waynesburg didn’t have in person classes, she wouldn’t have come.

“All the colleges I applied to were going to be in person,” Bray said. “If Waynesburg would have been all online, I would not have gone here.”

Even through all the change, both Sullivan and Bray are still having a great year so far. 

“My experience here has been great,” Sullivan said. “I’ve met some new people, I get to have lunch and dinner with my friends every day, and the teachers understand how difficult the transition can be.”

Bray mirrors this sentiment expressing how Waynesburg has become a second home for her. 

“I have really loved it so far,” Bray said. “It’s a little different than I had imagined but really, it’s the people I’ve met that have made it feel like a second home.”

Even though it is different than what was expected, Digiandomenico expresses how impressed he is by the new freshmen and upperclassmen’s ability to adjust.

“Overall, I think we’ve done a great job making sure we’re keeping everyone involved as safe as we can,” Digiandomenico said. “Particularly, I am impressed with the students’ ability to adjust to the changes that were made. It’s not easy to change what you’re used to and they’ve done a great job so far.”