There’s no question that the world as it is today is unlike any world most of you have ever experienced. Social media is flooded with often anxiety-inducing coronavirus headlines, and businesses in your town are shutting down by the minute.
So how about some positive news?
You still got admitted to colleges.
Your hard work in high school has still paid off, and your future is just as bright as it has ever been.
You are still going to college in the fall.
As hard as it may be, the present times shouldn’t make you any less excited about what’s to come for you. All that to say, you still have a choice to make! Which college will it be? Where will you enroll?
Here are some tips to help you choose a college during these atypical times.
1. Look at how they’ve reacted to current events.
Nothing tells you more about a college than how they handle change. Go to your top choices’ websites and social platforms and read up on how they are responding to COVID-19. Are they doing their civic duty and canceling big events? Are they able to quickly move to an online format for coursework?
And also, what’s their wording like? Are they perpetuating fear and using robotic jargon to communicate their stance—or do their words convey compassion and support? The latter is the kind of school that is more like a family, less like a business. Elevate that one on your list.
2. Make sure you still experience colleges as an admitted student.
Before coronavirus, that would have meant attending admitted student events at the various schools on your list. Now, that means attending them virtually—if your top schools are offering that option. (Another sign of flexibility!)
That also means taking advantage of other ways your colleges may be offering up that experience. For example, have any of your top choices sent you welcome packages or swag to make you feel like part of the family? Wear it with pride, see how it feels! Are they running giveaways? (Siena is!) Are there opportunities to chat with a current student or faculty member virtually? Do it! Ask questions and have candid conversations, knowing you already got in.
3. Revisit your pre-Coronavirus feelings.
Go back through the photos you’ve taken, the materials you picked up on campus, the emails you’ve exchanged with your top choices. Talk with your family about the scholarships you’ve received and what you felt like when you first toured the college. Scan their social media posts before coronavirus took hold of our news, and visualize yourself in the photos and videos they shared.
In addition, think hard about all the academic programs—which schools did you feel had the most relevant offerings? Considering your career intentions or even just your interests may very well have shifted because of the virus, think about which schools are small and nimble enough to quickly offer new programs.
4. Go with your gut.
After you’ve talked about it at length with your family and you’ve asked all your questions, take some time to think inward and go with your gut. As much as we love our Saints to stay Saints and hope that students find their true north right off the bat, we at Siena know that nothing is permanent—we’ve always welcomed students from other schools and that’ll never change.
5. Reach out if we can help.
Our admissions counselors are available by phone and email at any time, if you’d like more guidance or have any remaining questions about Siena. (You may also want to check out this older blog post: What to do when you can’t decide where to enroll.)
And if you were admitted to Siena, we sure hope you consider officially becoming a Saint!