A new normal for everyone…

By Lee Shulman Bierer

Were your spring break plans upended like everyone else’s? Are you trying to figure out how

to make this “voluntary” lock-down more productive?

The world is off its axis and we’re trying to keep up with the news of Coronavirus, but not be overwhelmed or panic-stricken.

I see three distinct and valid reactions:

  1. FEAR-for anyone dealing with ill family members or friends, or wondering if the virus has been transmitted to a loved one, these are scary, uncertain times.
  2. ANXIETY – for those living paycheck to paycheck, surviving on tips or working for a business that has shuttered during this crisis as well as those who have lost their nest egg and more with the tanking of the stock market. Assessing the personal economic impacts of what we’re dealing with is sobering.
  3. INCONVENIENCE – for those whose daily life has been altered significantly; working remotely, kids home from school, social get-togethers postponed or cancelled, i.e., life as you once knew it a week or so ago, is gone, at least temporarily.

On that rather down note, I’m going to suggest a work-around for the spring break campus visits that aren’t going to happen.

Virtual Visits:

There are a few great websites out there that provide videos and virtual tours of the campuses, conversations with their Admissions staff, videos of day-to-day life with students and a peek inside what goes on at different college campuses.

Here are my favorites:

www.youniversitytv.com In 5-7 minutes, these videos will take you from ground zero to feeling like you’re an expert on each college you “visit.” The videos interview Directors of Admission, professors, students and they share their insights on what life is like inside and outside the classroom. Admissions and testing stats are also provided so you can have a better sense of whether each school is a reach, target or a safety. Plus, it’s a video so you get to see the campus, the academic buildings and the surrounding area.

www.youvisit.com These are amazing virtual tours of colleges and universities around the country. You can click on a forward moving arrow and go into a building and see classrooms, the Student Union, dormitories, etc. The tours are narrated by students who share fun facts, traditions and their own personal insights about their experiences. Many schools offer dozens of stops on their tours and so you’ll undoubtedly feel a little overwhelmed, but take a look at the campus and soak up the information.

www.campusreel.org This a relatively new site that offers short behind-the-scene videos done by students for other students. It’s real talk, not a public relations ploy by the university and high school students really enjoy watching their peers interact with friends and seem normal.

Bierer is an independent college adviser based in Charlotte. Send questions to: lee@collegeadmissionsstrategies.comwww.collegeadmissionsstrategies.com

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