Don’t Let COVID-19 Discourage Your Future Plans

Re: A twenty-year professor on starting college this fall: Don’t.


My mom sent me this article from an author on Medium, which for the record, is one of my favorite online publishing platforms.

The article was written by a professor with a hot take on returning to universities in the fall. She believes that due to the uncertainty of when life will go back to ‘normal,' students should take a year off from starting college. The article was targeted towards current high school seniors.

She says that if students do choose to enroll for the Fall 2020 semester, their experience will be a “a faded version of what you saw in those glossy online brochures” filled with “a demoralized and shell-shocked remnant of faculty, staff, and students.”

I was shocked when I did finally realize that she is a college professor. It was weird to me that someone who makes a living off of teaching at these universities would have such a dismal disposition towards a quick return to normalcy.

It’s completely fair to wonder whether or not the upcoming fall semester will be ‘normal,' but to encourage the rising Class of 2024 to postpone their freshman year simply because no one is certain what this pandemic will look like in a few months is disconcerting.

The author lists a number of reasons why current high school seniors shouldn’t enroll next semester, but her viewpoints are rather narrow.

She says that due to the economic state of the country right now, it is ‘no time to me one of the largest financial commitments of your life’… only to sentences later, encourage students to defer school for a year, and try to get a job instead.

The economy is suffering right now, that’s true. What comes as a result of this truth is that employment is down, and I would assume – with my limited understanding of basic economics – that individuals with only a high school level education are not high on the list of candidates whom employers would choose to hire or keep on in an unemployment crisis.

If anything, pursuing a job during these uncertain and unprecedented times would be riskier than attending university in the fall. She acts as if online schooling for another semester or two would be the worst thing to happen to anyone. And granted, I’ve been complaining since March 12th about doing courses online, but at least I have that luxury. At least I’m learning. It’s one thing that’s remained consistent since the pandemic got worse in the U.S., and while this isn’t anyone’s ideal spring semester, we have the privilege to continue working towards our goals.

I can’t tell what this professor thinks will happen in the next few months. She seems to feel both that COVID will stop schooling from returning to normal, but that the economy will bounce back quickly enough that there will be jobs and other opportunities available for these students that she is encouraging to defer. Meanwhile, as a veteran professor, I’m sure that regardless of the outcome of the pandemic, the state of the economy, or of her teaching style, she will have a job and comfy salary ready and waiting whenever things go back to normal.

Regardless of what year you are, please don’t let this blip in your educational career dishearten you or discourage you from pursuing what you truly want. More importantly, don’t allow a 20-year professor with a negative attitude discourage you. Remaining positive and reminding yourself that this will all pass eventually is important in maintaining your sanity right now.

Stay healthy! <3