Seniors safely prepare for college

Colleges are working hard to make campus tours safer because of COVID-19 while Souderton seniors offer different opinions on picking colleges during the pandemic.

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**On the road again…** *Touring colleges, sophomores Anna Tevald and Nathan Woodside traveled to the University of Delaware during the pandemic.*

The college search process is different this year because of COVID-19. Colleges are trying to be safer with tours and classes for both students that are in college and students that are applying for colleges or just interested in looking at colleges.
Senior Emma Groatman has been accepted to the Walnut Hill Restaurant School. This is where she plans on going to school next year.
“I did a two-day summer camp there before COVID to show the school my skills and learn some new skills. It was really nice to look at part of the campus,” Groatman said.
Groatman really appreciates now during COVID, how safe the school is. “There is enough distance in between working spaces. They give a virtual tour option and everyone is required to wear masks,” Groatman said.
Even though Groatman knows exactly where she wants to go to school and has already been accepted, not everyone knows what their plans are for the future.
“I have not applied to any colleges yet,” senior Anna Grace said.
Grace hasn’t decided what she has planned for the future yet but is still thinking about different options. “I’ve been interested in Kutztown, but I think I will most likely go to Montgomery County Community College for two years,” Grace said.
Whatever type of college Grace decides to go to, they all have very similar safety protocols. “I think colleges are doing more to protect students from COVID [many] than high schools are,” Groatman said.
Even though colleges are trying to maintain, there are some things that colleges just can’t control.
“I think that colleges are trying to take as much precaution as they can, but with college having a large party culture surrounding it, it is harder for colleges to have regulations because of social gatherings and parties,” senior Abby Clements said.
Most colleges have set an alarm protocol: masks, distances and virtual. Some colleges that are more focused on one specific area of careers have more strict rules. “The Walnut Hill Restaurant School made tons of distance in between all the working spaces and made their classes smaller. I also did a virtual tour of the school and they have a 360° camera to show the entire school,” Groatman said.
Groatman isn’t the only person that has thought about doing virtual tours. “I’ve been meaning to do a virtual tour for a while but I just haven’t had the time to figure it out yet,” New Hope Academy senior Jazilynn Haley said.
Even though virtual tours are very COVID friendly and easy, there is a downside. “I haven’t done any virtual tours only because you have to pay, but I have researched a lot about the colleges I applied to,” Clements said.