• Michelle Gonzalez

College Decision during a Pandemic by Surelis Yanes

Updated: Aug 24



My daughter Madeline Felipe as well as all seniors suffered the immediate permanent shut down that the schools had this year due to COVID-19. With this pandemic came a roller coaster of emotions from the students, parents, teachers, and an entire community that saw the impact a pandemic can have from one day to the next. As a mother facing the decision that my daughter was going to be out of state studying for the next few years it stroke me to re-think if we were still going to allow her during this hard times.

She had been working her entire short life for this moment and now we all had to wonder and leave it up to the day to day happening with the covid and new normal to settle in. I watch her worry and did the best any mother will do protect and act. I asked her to collaborate with me in my real estate marketting and kept her busy totally engaged and emphasized to her that what matter the most was her safety. We made a treaty and that was if the University opens and you are allowed In-person classes for fall then I would not stand in her way, no matter how hard it was for me and how vulnerable she could be under these new times.

On April 20, 2020 we booked the flight not really knowing if the University was going to be open or it would all be virtual, we paid the fee’s and she did her Virtual orientation not once but still counting of the endless sessions since this was supposed to be four day in person and now it was all virtual. Madeline took SMART measure webinar which all students are now required basically as an assessment of their technology knowledge. Then there was the PENN Safe and Aware course were its focus was drugs, alcohol, safety regulation and assistant in case of an emergency.

On June 14, 2020 Penn state made the decision to re-open in person and hybrid classes. At this point Madeline’s eyes were light up and her heart was full of joy. This was my daughter’s university of choice where she was granted the Bunton Waller Scholarship and Penn State Provost Award. Up- to date there have been four changes to the flights, and she has even had to take a COVID test and another one to be taken at campus. As a parent I am committed to my daughter’s education even with the many uncertainties a new “Normal” may bring. It will be hard to see her go since we are extremely close, she is a tough cookie on the outside and overwhelmingly sweet on the inside, however its her time to grow. I am sure I am not alone when I say its hard for any parent to let go even more so with this pandemic cloud hanging over but I tried to keep in perspective that our children are our future and they too will find their way during or post pandemic. There is a very famous saying that I practice when life gets challenging and that is “the show most go on”.

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