Planning for university in the age of COVID-19 can be tricky, but here’s how the team at UWCSEA are making it work
Thinking about university life can be both thrilling and nerve wracking for any high school student. After all, what they do in the next four years of their lives could very much impact their future. Which is why it’s important that they get all the help they can with planning — especially with all the uncertainty brought on by Covid-19. So, here’s how UWCSEA East Campus University Advisor Robbie Jefferiss’ team is handling it all…
Covid-19 and its effect on high school students
In March 2020, COVID-19 threw all well-laid plans for university into disarray; the uncertainty of the near future fraught with unknowns. “Students had questions we could not answer then, questions which, 10 months later, we still can’t advise on,” says Robbie. “Questions like: Will I be able to enter that country? Will my university teaching be online or in person? Will my parents be willing (or able) to pay US$45,000 for an online option? Are my gap years completely blown?” Robbie and the University Advising team had a few answers to help students out…
Encouraging students to be flexible
Although many students set their dreams on certain schools — some even as early as their Grade 9 year — Robbie says that it’s always best to have a backup plan (or two). Also, it’s important to start thinking about alternatives: there’s more than one university out there, and perhaps multiple countries or cities where students can be successful.
The Class of 2020 faced a great deal of loss, and there is an increasing likelihood that the Class of 2021 will face the same. It’s easy for students to focus on what they’ve missed out on, which is why it’s important to shift their focus on what they do have. Whether it’s access to education, living in a safe city like Singapore or support from family and friends, there’s lots to be thankful for. At UWCSEA, the University Advising team encourages students to write down three things they are grateful for at the beginning of the day. This provides them a chance to reflect and shift their thinking each day.
Focus on what they can control, not what they can’t
There are many things out of our control, including added complications created by the pandemic. There’s this sense of anxiety that can’t be quelled; students feel that their applications aren’t strong enough and hindered by the pandemic.
The Uni Advising team reminds students that these factors are external, over which they have no control. The focus is on things within the students influence. Whether it’s taking charge of their personal health and wellness, putting more energy into researching or finding new ways to support their own family and friends — there’s still a lot more they can do. Above all, they should remember that there’s a human on the other side of their university application who understands — everyone does. And yes, even if one’s opportunities may seem slim, doing the right thing, staying home and finding ways to contribute is just as admirable as being captain of the rugby team.
To learn more about UWCSEA High School and what it offers students, visit its website.
This post is in sponsorship with UWCSEA.