‘I’m sure I’ll figure it out’: Del Campo High School Senior navigates changing collegiate process

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In 'Class of 2021,' FOX40 will follow a group of students whose senior year was upended by the coronavirus pandemic, documenting their challenges and accomplishments.

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FAIR OAKS, Calif. (KTXL) — This time of year is always stressful for high school seniors applying to college, but that stress is multiplied amid the pandemic.

Like many seniors, Del Campo High School student Abby Biebl has been working on her college applications for months, but her preparations for life after high school started much earlier.

“All throughout high school, I’ve always tried to do things to make me stand out as an applicant because college has always been the goal,” Abby Biebl explained.

But nothing could have prepared her for the challenges 2020 would bring.

“You work three years just to get to your senior year. Like, that’s the best year,” she said. “And now we don’t have it, you know?”

While she’s missing out on so many of the things she looked forward to, Abby Biebl is also navigating a college application process that is constantly changing.

For starters, most colleges aren’t requiring the SAT this year.

“I never took the SATs because the one I scheduled got canceled,” Abby Biebl said.

And as requirements change, so do deadlines.

“After the UCs extended their deadline, so did the CSUs,” she said.

Technological challenges along the way certainly didn’t make things easier, especially with little support from the guidance counselors at her school.

“Now that we literally cannot be in person, there’s like no support for us and I just think it’s funny I had to teach myself all of this,” Abby Biebl explained. “All about applying and which ones to apply to and the differences between CSUs and UCs and money costs and all of that kind of stuff.”

“It’s a real challenge this year,” Abby’s father Frank Biebl explained. “There’s no resources for us as parents. We literally cannot get anybody on the phone either at the college or at school.”

And submitting her applications is just the beginning.

“In the next six months, my life is going to completely change. Like everything I know will not be the same,” Abby Biebl said.

Not knowing where she will live, if she’ll even be able to attend classes on her college campus, or what the state of the world will look like.

“Everything’s so up in the air, and it’s – the answers come so close to when you’re supposed to make a decision, so I really just have to prepare for every single outcome there is,” Abby Biebl said.

“So we’re flying by the seat of our pants trying to make sure that she gets qualified and into college much less has a successful time there,” Frank Biebl said.

But, Abby Biebl said one thing is certain.

“I’m ready. You know? Like I’m ready to move on,” she said. “Even during a pandemic, I’m sure I’ll figure it out.”

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