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Alumni Face Challenges of COVID-19

Oct 16, 2020

Judd Apatow, comedian, said “College is the reward for surviving high school,” but our HHS alumni have not been allowed to fully cash in on their reward.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC] recently issued guidelines for colleges that consist of the different risk levels for learning plans and student housing. 

With online classes and closed residential halls being the lowest risk case scenarios, it can be difficult for colleges to balance the safety of their students while also allowing them the college experience they’re looking for.

Mollie Tankenoff, class of 2020, is a student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Tankenoff said that Madison’s biggest steps to combat COVID-19 were testing all of their students, initiating fully online classes, and preventing students from entering residential halls that are not their own.

However, Tankenoff found holes in Madison’s plan.

“The stupid thing was that we had to wait two to three days for our results, but we were still going out and meeting people because it was our first few days of college and we didn’t have our results back. If I came here positive from home, I would have met a bunch of people and just given [COVID-19] to them because I didn’t get my test back for two days,” Tankenoff said.

Besides the lack of quarantining after testing, Tankenoff said Madison has been strict about enforcing other COVID-19 policies. Still, it has come at the expense of the ideal college experience.

“It’s definitely caused distress, as I haven’t been able to meet many people. I hang out with my roommate, but I can’t go to other dorms,” Tankenoff said.

Sam Jonas, class of 2019, has had similar issues. Jonas is a sophomore at Northwestern University where freshman and sophomore students have been asked to not come back to campus. 

“We don’t really see people anymore,” Jonas said. “I spend a lot of days home by myself, having to find things to do on my own.”

Although Jonas is stuck at home, he has been able to text with his close friends and go on Zoom calls with his ultimate frisbee team. However, Jonas said it’s been difficult to communicate with his friends from college.

“Keep in mind these are my good friends but I haven’t known them too long. I only got to see my college friends in person for six months,” said Jonas. “We didn’t text because we always saw each other in person so It’s kind of weird communicating.”

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