These are uncertain times, especially for our nation’s teenagers. Over the past few months, many parents have been focused on the physical and mental health of their teens. Making sure our kids are not feeling isolated or spending too much time on-line and ensuring that they continue to make meaningful connections with friends and family is vitally important – now more than ever.
While COVID times are hard enough, one “lucky” subset of teen parents has had an even harder task: sending their children to college during a global pandemic. Many parents in our area have had to pack up their children and drop them off at a college located hours away from home, while a global pandemic rages around them. Overwhelmingly stressful even in “normal” times, the timing of this rite-of-passage is not ideal for anyone. This generation of children is learning lessons in resilience that future children may never experience. Yet, they are proudly rising to the task – including the 2020 graduates of Loudoun School for Advanced Studies!
Recently, we heard from Christine Varanelli - our Dean of Students - about her son. Jack is a Class of 2020 LSAS graduate who just began his freshman year at Bucknell University, Jack is currently taking four classes including Calculus 3, Intro to Chemistry for Chemistry Majors, Linguistics, and a freshman seminar class. He recently told his mom that he feels “way ahead of the curve” in preparedness for his math and chemistry classes, thanks to the calculus and physics classes he tackled at LSAS. He also confided that he has already made “good use of professors’ office hours” and is infinitely comfortable doing so. Additionally, he loves his freshman seminar class and is “the only one who has studied philosophy” (thank you, Dr. Oliveau!)
Yes, there are many areas of concern when it comes to our teenagers these days. However, as you can see through Jack’s experience, fretting whether your LSAS student will be ready for college does not need to be one of them!
Many other parents of recent LSAS grads will attest that the foundational education their children received at our school prepared them exceptionally for college. Be it the unique classes we offer; the personal connection and mentoring from our amazing faculty; the lessons they learned about advocating for themselves, defending their opinions and seeking help when needed; and gaining the freedom to speak up in class without the fear of being wrong. All of these ingredients work together to give our graduates the confidence and background required to thrive in college – and beyond.
So, take heart COVID-era parents: this pandemic will pass, and by the time it does, your LSAS students will be tougher, smarter and uniquely prepared to confront the challenges that college throws their way. Working together with you and your student to craft a plan for his or her future is extremely rewarding to us. Please know that our phone/Zoom lines and offices are always open for a socially-distant visit to discuss these matters or any other concerns you might have about your student and their experience as LSAS. Communication is key – and we look forward to talking with you soon!