Dear Admissions Office, from the COVID Teens
Dear College Admissions Office,
We are the Classes of 2021, 22, 23, and 24 . We are the COVID students. As the virus rages on, our school lives must continue. Most of our school year will be virtual, or at most, in person with extreme separation. The ongoing quarantine and social distancing means we will not be fully involved in our communities, be able to participate in sports, or fulfill in-person leadership roles. We know you love these things. We’ve heard its part of your ideal well-rounded student. It may be time to change your expectations.
But for the COVID teens, can we still be well-rounded? When the pandemic denied our in-person growth, interaction, and leadership, will you look for other undefined qualities for your future students? We want to put on our application that we competed in sports, performed in a band or play, or led the student council or Key Club. We also want to include that we coached a little league team, tutored a younger student, or served as a camp counselor. We want to tell you that we started an anti-bullying initiative or organized an amazing history event. We want to tell you that we volunteered at a food pantry or an animal shelter. But COVID happened and denied us these opportunities.
Our class faces a much more difficult time being competitive for colleges because COVID limited the chance to meet your current standards. As a class, you should know upfront that the virus will not stop us from achieving our goals. We will turn our adversity into opportunity. Quarantine allowed us to pursue new goals that we previously didn’t have the time for. COVID also presents new opportunities to lead. We can find ways to serve people who are quarantining, shop for those who can’t, and deliver food for people. Because we embrace remote learning, we have become great time managers, we are honing our computer skills, and we are becoming excellent at multitasking. Runners can keep running, football players can keep practicing (to an extent of course), and band members can keep performing. We are finding new and creative ways to show you that we are prepared for college and that we are the student you want. Instead of lettering in track, we might just give you our personal best time. Instead of being the Key Club president, we may say that we made masks and distributed them in our community. Instead of winning the school science fair, we might tell you that we took an online science course and got certified. Even if our audience is one person, we are still participating in the sport or improving our performance. That's what counts.
As we students rapidly change to adapt to a COVID environment, we wonder: how are YOU going to adapt to US? Are you looking at us as typical applicants? We’ve been to your websites, your admissions pages, but we haven’t seen how you’re accommodating to a new student body dramatically impacted by the pandemic. We beg you, college administrations and admissions, please don’t disregard the value that our classes bring. What we learn in adversity, we bring to your school in diversity, making all of us better. We know who we are and what we can bring to your institution. Do you know what you want?
Our applications are coming. Our dreams are waiting.
The COVID Teens