So You Graduated High School or Want To Make A Life Change During a Pandemic — What Now?
Deciding what to do after high school was tough enough already. Did we really need a global pandemic to muddy the waters even further? If you’re still trying to figure it out, you’re not alone. In fact, 49% of recent high school grads have changed their plans for the fall.
If you’re thinking about college, there are so many questions to consider: Will I be safe if I attend a large university or community college? Do I have to take all my classes online? Will there be more lockdowns in the place I move to?
Even if you’re not very worried about getting the virus yourself, there’s no doubt it will play a role in what your first year of college looks like. We’ve put together some widely-applicable advice for recent high school grads in Colorado. This information should make the decision of what to do after high school easier.
Most high school graduates are eager to get as far away from home as possible, but that’s probably not be a great idea right now. There are several reasons why staying local might be in the best interest of you and your family.
Colorado is Relatively Safe
Colorado has a better handle on COVID-19 than many other states. That’s because our communities have done a pretty good job with social distancing, mask-wearing and other preventative measures. In other states, risk for contracting the virus may be higher, and many businesses are still closed. At least for now, it seems that Colorado is a pretty good place to be during the pandemic.
Avoid Risky Travel
Staying local will also help you and your family to avoid unnecessary travel—whether it’s the move to another state, a winter break visit, or a graduation ceremony. It’s a common sense way to reduce risk for you and your family.
Another important factor to consider is saving money. Your family’s financial situation may have changed drastically this year. Paying for an apartment in a different city or state might be a bigger challenge than you and your parents originally imagined. We get it—the urge to leave home is strong—but living with your parents for even a year more might help your family during this uncertain time.
You may have had plans to attend a large university or community college, but the obvious problem with these institutions during a pandemic is clear: there are simply too many people. Many of these schools are still struggling to figure out how to provide a valuable education while also keeping their large student population safe. Social distancing is difficult with so many students, and it can be tough to enforce mask policies.
Many colleges have already announced plans for a shift to the online classroom. Even if schools start out the year normally, there’s a good chance that they’ll eventually need to close temporarily because of an outbreak. That means you’ll likely be forced to finish the semester online—which just isn’t for everyone.
Fewer People Means Less Risk
We know that the safest way to endure the pandemic is to avoid being around too many people. It follows that the smaller your college is, the less likely you’ll be exposed to COVID-19. It allows you to live and study a little more conventionally—and with much less worry.
At smaller colleges like IBMC College, there are fewer students and instructors interacting; fewer people are in classrooms, halls, cafeterias, and restrooms. Plus, prevention measures like social distancing and mask-wearing can be better enforced.
Less Risk Means More Normalcy
With less risk of being infected, classrooms can begin to feel more normal. IBMC College still requires students and staff to wear masks and practice social distancing. But with small class sizes, it’s much less of a worry. Hands-on training can be done in person, and you can get face-to-face help when you need it.
Develop In-Demand Skills While You Wait it Out
Still dead set on attending a large university? The good news is that it’s probably not going anywhere. Consider starting somewhere smaller first and waiting the pandemic out. Think of it this way: If you were to start at IBMC College in the fall of 2020, you could actually complete your diploma program by summer 2021*.
Many of our graduates go on to study nursing, management or business at 4-year schools. Often, IBMC graduates find their in-demand skills make it easier to find work in their field of study while working toward their undergraduate degree.
Train for a Career That’s Recession-Proof
We’ve seen many people lose their jobs during the pandemic, especially in hospitality and retail. Is a recession coming? Is it already here? It’s tough to say. Picking a career at a time like this can only be described as nerve-wracking.
IBMC College offers training for several careers that tend to fare better in a poor economy. Even better, you can train for these careers fast—in some cases, as little as 10 months:
- Medical Assistant – Assist physicians in performing a broad range of administrative and clinical duties, from recording vital signs to preparing blood samples for lab tests.
- Dental Assistant – Put patients at ease and bring out their confidence by giving them a healthy smile.
- Paralegal – Provide vital assistance to attorneys by investigating case facts, drafting legal documents and conducting research.
- Cosmetologist or Barber – Even a pandemic can’t keep many people from their hair care routines. Unleash your creativity while helping clients feel great about themselves.
- Massage Therapist – Provide relaxation and help clients feel better by using touch to manipulate the muscles and soft tissue in their bodies.
COVID-19 doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon. Instead of waiting around to see what happens, why not take charge? Train for a career you can be proud of.
*Some IBMC College programs can be completed in as little as 10 months.