On Wednesday, August 5th, our Class of 2020 cohort had their final Postsecondary Readiness Training. Like all events Palmer Scholars has facilitated since March, the training took place on Zoom. As the final training and the end of a particularly unconventional year, Palmer Scholars staff led the group through a reflection of their time in high school, living through a global pandemic, and what excited them about stepping into adulthood.
Living through a Pandemic
Scholars had many things to say about the quarantine that would cancel their proms, sporting events, and graduation celebrations. “I learned that going out is a luxurious thing,” Curtis graduate India said. “I used to equate fun with money, but now fun is going out on walks with friends. I’ve really taught my body to calm down during this time.”
For Clover Park graduate Ramiro, quarantine doesn’t feel too foreign an experience. “It feels like we’re all back in the summers while we were in middle school” Ramiro said. “We couldn’t drive yet, so all we did then was stay home and now that’s what we’re doing again.”
“I wish I had more fun with my time in high school since it finished so quickly.” -Jah'Niya
The Scholars agreed that while we should have a plan for our lives, we shouldn’t plan too much. Leaving school on March 13th (Friday the 13th, they were quick to point out), they couldn’t have imagined how much their lives were about to change. Lincoln graduate Jah’Niya reflected, “I wish I had more fun with my time in high school since it finished so quickly.”
Lessons to take to College
In addition to these larger life lessons, Scholars also gained important skills during the quarantine that will help them once they begin their first semesters of college online. “I know I need to stop winging it and use my planner,” Lincoln graduate Ethan said.
“Planning out everything ahead is a big one for me” Mt. Tahoma graduate Erick said. “I know when I was doing online classes this year, I got lost so easily. Writing everything down really helped.”
Having a designated place to study was also a lesson Scholars will take with them. Lincoln graduate Sarah suggested her peers “separate your work/school life from your social life.” She continued, “I have a bad habit of doing homework and Zoom calls in my room and I end just getting tired because it's my safe spot.” Many adults who are working from home could also take this advice.
Excitement for What’s Next
In a time with so many unknowns, our rising freshmen Scholars are ready for a new challenge. Stadium graduate Brandon said that he is “looking forward to this new experience.” Brandon will be starting school at the University of Dayton in the Fall. Being so far away from home, he’ll certainly have many new things to experience.
Like many, Lincoln graduate Kim “can’t wait to be independent!”
Towards the end of the call Director of Scholar Support Farrington offered words of wisdom to the Scholars. “Live in the moment,” Farrington said. “In high school, you are worrying about the next thing, like getting into college. Now you’re here, so sit in the moment and really experience it.”