LHS alumni share their experiences as college freshman during the pandemic

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Art by Sathvik Manam

College is the time where people get to branch off and grow into their adulthood, but the pandemic has made it difficult to really connect with others and the outside world.

The class of 2020’s senior year went completely different from how they’d expected, and now, their college experiences are being affected too. The Lancer Spirit sent a Google Form to LHS alumni so they could give their input on how their lives at college are different than they’d imagined. See the answers below to see how these past LHS students feel about their new year.


What was the most difficult thing about being a senior last year when COVID-19 began? 

Tim Gore : Williams College

“The most difficult thing was the adjustment. Everyone pretty much had to immediately figure out how to handle remote learning, something none of us had ever done.”

Amanda DeAngelis : Suffolk University

“I went to a boarding school where most of the school’s population was from the West Coast, Europe, and Asia, so not being able to say goodbye to people I had been living with for three years was very difficult. I also was very disappointed that I never got a graduation ceremony.”

Mike Foley : Plymouth State

“[The most difficult thing was] not being able to see my friends every day. The school work was manageable in my opinion, but I know a lot of people struggled with the workload so I was lucky enough to be able to manage my work efficiently.”

Juliana Hamel : Quinnipiac University

“The most difficult thing about being a senior when COVID began was just knowing that I was going to miss out on all of the things I was waiting so long for. It was definitely hard to accept that I wasn’t going to get a normal end to my high school experience.”


What advice would you give to current seniors as they go through this time of COVID? 

Tim Gore

“Make space for yourself. Find someplace you can be alone, without distractions or interruptions. Maybe that’s where you do your remote learning, or maybe it’s where you go when you just need a break. Maybe it’s a room in your house, or maybe it means going for a drive. When you’ve been inside for so long, just getting out of the house is more helpful than you might think. That’s something that really helped me focus and helped me mentally as well.”

Amanda DeAngelis

“Make the absolute most of the rest of your time in high school because the future is unknown and you don’t want to look back regretting that you didn’t take advantage of everything.”

Mike Foley

“Talk to your friends and teachers as much as possible. I never actually thought I would miss high school this much, but having half of it taken away puts things into perspective. Enjoy it.”

Julia Hamel

“If I could give current seniors one piece of advice, it would be to not take all the little things for granted. I was surprised at how many things I missed about school when we went totally remote, and I realized that all of the things I normally wouldn’t have cared about actually mean a lot. So enjoy all the little moments, because those end up being some of the best.”


What’s the weirdest thing about college this year due to COVID? 

Tim Gore

“It’s funny because this was my first semester at college so I really didn’t have anything to compare it to, but in talking to upperclassmen, it seems like the weirdest thing has been dining. We had to take food out of the dining hall and eat in our dorms, or we could eat outside with people if we were socially distant. But obviously that got more difficult as the weather got colder. But I think that to not have the dining halls be these centers of student activity was kind of jarring for a lot of people. And eating with people was one of the most social things about college, from what I understand, so to have that taken away was pretty weird.”

Amanda DeAngelis

“For me, since I play college basketball, is the fact that I haven’t had a season for the first time in 14 years.”

Mike Foley

“Online school. I never expected to do anything from Zoom. The work was nothing too bad and the learning experience was held at good standards. The online classes taught me just as much as an in person class.”

Julia Hamel

“The weirdest thing about college was probably adapting to a completely new environment while following all the restrictions due to the pandemic.”


What’s the hardest thing about college during COVID? 

Tim Gore

“Remote classes are still the hardest thing. This is probably a pretty boring answer, but I would so much rather be in person than on Zoom. I was lucky enough to have two classes that were mostly in-person, and those were so much better experiences than my remote classes. And that was even though we were wearing masks and distant.”

Amanda DeAngelis

“The hardest thing is meeting people. The restrictions for my school include living in a single, only one person allowed in your room at a time, not allowed to visit other dorms, and having less than five people show up to class makes it worse. So many people took the last semester at home too. The only way you can really meet people is at parties, but because of [Boston’s] curfew, we could pay a huge fine for being out past that curfew or having more than ten people in the apartment.”

Mike Foley

“Not being able to have the classic college social experience. No big parties or get-togethers. There weren’t as many opportunities to meet new people that are normally available.”

Julia Hamel

“It’s been a little hard to make friends and meet new people since there are so many restrictions. A lot of the events that are normally in person were virtual, so I didn’t get many opportunities to meet people other than the people I lived with/near.’’


How do you think the safety measures that have to be taken affect your experience?

Tim Gore

“Having to be tested twice a week was definitely tedious, but it honestly could have been a lot worse. I guess I would say that about most things this semester. I got to be on campus and have some classes in person, which was definitely a privilege. Overall I think things could have been a lot worse.”

Amanda DeAngelis

“The fact that school is remote does not work to my advantage. I have to be in the classroom to really understand what is going on, and with remote learning, I am distracted all of the time. There also feels like there is no incentive or motivation to do my work.”

Mike Foley

“I lost a lot of face to face labs, but I was still able to get lots of lab work in and  my professors were very helpful.’’

Julia Hamel

“I had a hybrid schedule for most of the semester, so sometimes I was on Zoom and other times I was in person. It was a little difficult because there was never a time when the whole class was together so the professors often had to balance taking care of the kids on Zoom with taking care of the kids in the classroom. I think it would’ve been a lot more fun and easy to learn if I were completely in person, but I understand why that wasn’t possible.”

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