Seniors prepare for future amidst pandemic


photo used with permission of Alexander Alvarez

Senior Alexander Alvarez volunteers at Michael’s Woodshop at Camp Snyder in Haymarket). He is helping scouts build projects to get some extra experience.

Chloe McGeehan, Staff Writer

Chantilly conducts an annual survey asking seniors about their college plans. In 2019, 74% of students said they were planning to do a four-year college program and 19% said a two-year college program. With the coronavirus pandemic causing changes in the application process and job internships for seniors, many have had mixed feelings.  

To help students during this unprecedented and tense time, some colleges extended the due dates for applications to give students more time and help with less stress. Colleges have also made the decision to not include SAT/ACT scores in the student’s applications, not include a semester’s worth of grades, sports, volunteering, band, theater, and any other related activities. 

“The impact of the coronavirus has not added any stress,” senior Dhruv Dhawan said. “Instead it has removed some, as I have longer deadlines and more time to focus on college applications.”

Other students thought that quarantine caused anxiety and tension because of the lack of in-person class, the cancellation of internships and overall limited opportunity. According to The Commonwealth Fund website, around 7.7 million people lost their jobs and special internships due to coronavirus. 

COVID-19 has created more hurdles in finding a job where I could grow my carpentry skills,” senior Alexander Alvarez said. “I had planned to help out at Michael’s Woodshop out at Camp Snyder over the summer to get more ‘on the job’ experience. During the coronavirus pandemic, the shop temporarily shut down.”

According to a US news article, most colleges are doing virtual campus tours to give students a feel for the environment. In another message from the College Board website, resources like Khan Academy are partnering with the college board to give students free practices for tests like the SAT/ACT. 

Even with all these factors, most seniors still stuck to their original career and/or college plans. Senior Dhruv Dhawan is planning on going to college to study medicine.

“The coronavirus has not had much of a negative impact in my career plan and the colleges I plan to go into,” said Dhawan  “Although, it has made me realize the influence and importance that medical research contributes to our society and has, in fact, been part of the reason that I want to go into the medical field.” 

“I am not at all nervous about the social changes that will occur after high school,” Dhawan said. “I am excited for the feeling of independence that will come after I enter college, despite how long it will last. I am looking forward to meeting new people and making new friends as well as hopefully having some of my old friends with me.”