By Hannah Cho,
With the rapid spread of COVID-19, most colleges in the U.S. are closing campuses and sending their students home. For many Davis High alumni, this means an unexpected trip back to the high school life they left a few years ago.
Most colleges have moved their curriculum online for the rest of the semester. Alumnus Kenneth Wang, currently a Cal freshman, is adjusting to this sudden change as he enjoys catching up with family and friends.
“It’s hard to keep up with friends from college other than through video conferences and chats,” Wang said. “The experience is just not the same.”
How final exams and projects will be held depends on each professor and university. Many colleges, including Columbia University, are conducting their finals online, with alterations in difficulty level and time.
Sophie Lopez, DHS alumnus and freshman at Columbia University, has mixed emotions of disappointment and gratitude.
“I still want to be in New York but I understand and agree that closing the school is necessary and imperative for stopping the spread of coronavirus,” Lopez said. “I am grateful I have a home and resources and I’m hoping for a swift recovery for everyone who is sick.”
College seniors are especially anxious and dissatisfied as their long-awaited graduation ceremony is getting canceled, being postponed to the fall, or being held online.
“It really sucks that my third and final year is getting cut short like this,” said alumnus Lauren Duan, who is graduating from Johns Hopkins University this year. “I already rushed my college years to graduate a year early, and with all this craziness, it feels like I lost out on getting to celebrate with my friends.
“The worst thing is not being able to see my friends … some of whom I may not even see until school resumes in August,” Duan continued. “Luckily, I’ll still be in Baltimore for my job, so I’m hoping I can do a repeat of my senior spring and pretend this never happened.”
While some students are enjoying a more relaxed schedule, others are worried that this pandemic will affect their summer plans.
“Although I didn’t have summer plans that were canceled, I know a lot of students are upset because their summer abroad programs have been canceled,” Wang said. “Many research programs can’t progress normally because of a general ban on non-essential in-person research.”
Regardless of what happens for the rest of the school year, it is important for students to practice social distancing and stay safe.
Duan is following the CDC and WHO guidelines to stay inside as much as possible.
“My spring break has been a lot of random Youtube and reading and, I’ll admit it, video games,” she said. “Hopkins students are usually running between class, lab, jobs, volunteering, and club meetings – and doing homework with the tiny bit of extra time. It feels weird to be able to breathe again, so I’ll try to make the most of it.”
Lopez is also planning to use the new time on her hands to her benefit. “I [want to] learn new skills I wouldn’t otherwise have had time for . . . We are all mostly just taking everything one step at a time, day by day,” she said.