Welcome to the June 1st, which is the new May 1st. In the pre-COVID era, I always wrote a May 1st post because that was the National Deposit Day, the due date for seniors to place a deposit at the college they plan to attend. This year many colleges pushed the deadline back to give families time to sort through their choices, amid the pandemic. If you are a senior or the parent of a senior, I know the past three months have been surreal. Whether you made your deposit in April or are just pushing the submit button today, congratulations!
When seniors deposit on May 1, they usually have almost four months until they head off to school. This year, they have less than three months. The average university is starting in the middle of August, so if you are a senior, you are leaving in about 10 weeks. I wrote a post a few years ago about all the things that a senior needs to go to get ready to leave for college, “May 1st Commitment is Just the Beginning!”. I think in the pandemic era, there are a few more things to think about:
Your Health-Evaluate your health, along with your parents and your healthcare providers to determine the best way to stay safe. Do you need extra PPE, disinfectant or hand-sanitizer? Is there a risk factor that you need a single? Take stock now and get prepared so when you arrive on campus you have the support that you need in place.
Flu Shots-Colleges are taking steps to mitigate the spread of COVID on campuses and one requirement that I am hearing more and more is that flu shots will be required. My guess is that schools will facilitate this but talk to your healthcare provider to see how early they anticipate providing the vaccine in case your college expects you to be vaccinated before you arrive.
Campus Closure Plan-Talk about a plan in the event that your campus has to close. Determine how your family will manage this if colleges send their students home again, especially if you are traveling a significant distance to go to school. This past March, many students were on spring break when their colleges told them not to come back. All of their personal items were still on campus. If you need to leave your campus, make a list of what you need to bring with you for an extended stay at home.
Plan B-Have a conversation around what you will do if your school determines that they will not have courses face-to-face this fall. Do you want to forge ahead and take classes online? If not, what else might you be able to do to fill your time in a productive or meaningful way if you are not comfortable learning online?
These are a few of my thoughts. I am attending webinars weekly to stay informed. If I learn more or think of another issue, I will be sure to add it to the list!