African-American HS Class of 2020

A little update to … well update, but also to bring this thread back to the surface of the redesigned forum software.

S20 has great enjoyed his first semester at college. The life-change of moving and the generational-event that is C19 made the first month or so a little bit of a feeling out period, but by the time I picked him up for the semester break, he felt very at home at his 2nd home.

UDayton has released their (preliminary?) Spring Return plan. As with Fall Return/Move-in, it includes an elongated move-in schedule (Jan 15-30) to allow students to return to campus in smaller batches rather than all at once. Also, as with the Fall, classes will be all virtual to begin the semester, with concrete plans to move to in-person and hybrid a few weeks later.

I was very happy with how UD handled the Fall and C19. They had a surge in positive cases, but no reports of serious debilitating effects or severe staff complications. I checked the UD tracker often. After a fairly long surge, the numbers dropped significantly and the campus was back to green status that lasted until the break.

S20 is loving campus life so much, he is already planning to be back on the first day they allow him to return. He’s connected with a couple of his professors and those two seem to have really taken an interest in his success. One has a spring class my son has to take but he had to choose a class with another professor because his preferred professor’s class filled up. His preferred professor emailed him to say 1 spot opened and she turned to him first to offer him to switch to her class. He (and I) was pleased that she did that.

I’m glad he wants to go back, but I’ll enjoy the next 5 weeks with him home.


S20 has been home since the Mon before Thanksgiving and doesn’t go back until Mid January. Duke tests students at least twice a week for Covid and were able to keep positive rates super low. The condensed fall semester which had no holidays or breaks had my S very ready to be done with schoolwork by the end. He did enjoy his classes , especially his intro engineering class but he was ready to be done with assignments and tests. He told me it was a very similar feeling like he had last year after writing supplements for apps and scholarship essays. He wasn’t the only one and Duke took the feedback from students and parents to redo the Spring Semester with the addition of two small breaks.

Socially, he was able to make a few friends, was accepted into an academic fellowship and the learning living community that is attached to it, which takes into effect Fall next year. He also joined a couple community service groups.

Now that he is home , he said he missed our food lol and being home. :slight_smile:


My S20 has been home since the Friday after Thanksgiving. My S20 and D18 ended up living in a relative’s open home together (their Grandparents were walking distance away) out of state, so they still got to do some “adulting” while my wife and I got to live as “empty nesters” for the 1st time. It was a tough semester due to Howard not allowing any students on campus besides a few athletes and some hardship cases (housing insecurity, food insecurity, and international students) and the monster class load (20 hours) that S20 took, but he ended up scratching out a 3.70 GPA, so I am very proud of how hard he worked (especially after being below his 3.30 GPA scholarship threshold at the midway point in the semester). Howard is not allowing students on campus for spring 2021 as well, so S20 has decided to spend 2nd semester back at home. S20’s plans for winter break include relaxing like a “beach bum” and looking for summer internships. He definitely has the “beach bum” part down so far.

I have been very happy to see some of your updates and I can not wait to hear from more Class of 2020 students and parents on how 1st semester turned out.


My DD came home this past Saturday and enjoyed her first semester living in D.C. and watching the political landscape unfold in front of her. I hear you @ChangeTheGame about a monster class load which my kiddo decided to do as well while doing a fellowship with the Gifford Foundation at the same time. I asked her if she didn’t have her scholarship for college would she have deferred for year and she told me most likely because Zoom University was brutal. I hope as our kiddos get this break before we start up for second semester that each of you in this group thread have a healthy and blessed holiday season.


What a long 26 hours. Basically, I awakened at 1:30am Friday morning, packed the car (after S20 had not actually packed for the trip) drove to Ohio, got him settled, and unexpectedly, drove back the same day. I got back home at 2:15am, almost 1000 miles round trip (including a major accident detour through the windiest narrowest, hilliest WV roads any non-WV’er has ever seen) and I’m beat. No sleep in the middle. I wanted to fly him back, but he wanted to take more stuff from home and a flight would have been impracticable.

On the positive side, we had a lot of good father/son time on the trip. He is so ready for the spring semester. I think I say this every time I talk/post about it, but it seems like he is maturing in dog years since he started college. He is still very much a kid, but he is also changing his outlook on many subjects.

I have a lot of irons in the fire, and it’s comforting to know he is hopefully turning the corner on being self-sufficient. He’s cultivating his interests and education and friendships at a rate I didn’t think was possible 6 months ago.


@EconPop Get some sleep but such a heartwarming demonstration of parental dedication. Sounds like your son is doing great! That is a reason to smile. Those WV roads tho. No lights and I always wonder what happens if you fall off the road. Same for many parts of PA too. And you are sharing space with all the trucks.

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Did you get a phone call with AU FDDS? My D had final stage interview on last Monday. 5 d ago.


Yes we did receive a phone call after our interview. Good luck and let me know if I can provide any additional information.

how are everyone’s kids doing during this Spring semester?
For S, he was glad to go back to school in January and thought his workload would be about the same as his first semester. However, almost all classes went online and he picked up a job and had to evaluate his time management after not doing so hot on a midterm in one of his classes. I knew something was up when every time I asked him what he was doing, he texted back “studying”. I suggested he looked at his schedule and pencil in some free time to rest his brain, but he thought he would be ok. His grade on his midterm was a wake up call and thankfully, he used the resources available to him at school and he now has a calendar set up for better time management and it is helping him greatly.
His school also had to go under lockdown for a week because of a surge in Covid cases. Not fully caused, but linked to rush activities from fraternities that disaffiliated with the school, when the school suspended fall rush. It was a big ol thing, but glad that’s over with. Less than a month left of school and S will find out soon his dorm situation for next year. He wants a single, but if he doesn’t get one, he already knows who he will room with.


My S had some of the same realization that Time Management is really a thing in college. He originally stacked up his classes when 1st semester started, but dropped one after a couple of weeks to have a normal workload. When 2nd semester started, he again went with the heavier workload he’d planned for 1st semester. He’s handling it, but he acutely feels the time squeeze. He told me last week that he’s going back to what he thinks is a “normal” courseload for Fall '21. On an academic level, he says the work is doable, but he doesn’t want to overload himself with too many classes. He hasn’t taken a job, but he is enjoying the social aspects of campus and has made many friends in and outside his major. Some of the social events are sort of social+academic mixtures, such as a professor in his major who has regular extra-credit gatherings/viewings/discussions. He attends, but those are extra hours in his week that leave less time for studying in other classes - or reduce the chance to socialize on weekends because he’s catching up on classwork. But he’s figuring it all out.

Also in the fall, he’s planning on joining a couple of extracurricular activities related to his major that will add to his time management squeeze. He’s quickly realizing that a lot of the free time he had before college is becoming scheduled time now. He hopes to take an online class in the summer to get something easy out of the way, but he knows that if he spends future summers interning that it probably won’t be possible to take summer classes after this summer.

One thing he did Fall semester was to find a barber. It’s a 20-minute walk from campus, but he loves it now. He likes getting into the neighborhoods further from campus and seeing the area. He remembers when he first arrived on campus, some people pointed out certain directions to avoid because they were “sketchy” and dangerous. His barber is located in one of those areas, but now that he’s been there, S says there is nothing “wrong” or scary about the area unless someone is afraid of Black people and/or working class people. :laughing: Now, he has a couple of guys who have followed his lead and go there to get their trims too.

So far, the spring semester seems to be going about as well as could be expected. Of course, as a parent I want that 4.0, but he’s let me know in no uncertain terms that is not going to happen. I keep pushing, but I’m happy the first semester ended with good grades, and he’s improving on that this semester. He says he can almost feel almost-4.0 semesters in the future, but he’s scared to verbalize it.

All things considered, so far I really couldn’t be more pleased with how year1 is turning out.


For my S, he has probably handled his Zoom University experience better than most of his friends in the same situation, mainly because of his affinity for technology and his introverted ways. I have seen some growth with his time management, leadership, and communication skills and he has started to get excited about being in Washington D.C. this fall. His grades are very good right now despite having another monster class load (19 credit hours) . He is scheduled for the Covid-19 vaccine this week, and has started planning some socially distanced activities with his friends (that is a big step for a germaphobe).

He is also excited about his summer as he was accepted as an intern into a Nanoparticle lab at a top 5 USNWR school in his academic discipline (most likely will be virtual which is a bummer). with a great stipend . He also finally understands that he can take less classes (signed up for 14 hours in Fall 2021) and focus more on doing extra-curricular activities like working in a research lab and joining organizations on campus.

I have had a harder time getting over some of the things lost by students not being on campus this school year than my S, and I am proud of how all of the kids made the best of their Freshman year in college.


@ChangeTheGame congrats to your son on the internship! Your S and mine sound so similiar with the introverted-ness.

S was able to get his dorm occupancy preference which is a huge shock since sophomores are on the bottom of the list for dorm assignments. He is currently looking for summer housing since he got a research position during the summer(with stipend) starting in June. He is pretty sure that it will be face to face, but its not set in stone. I dont know all the details about it but it has something to do with Data and cybersecurity.

He also received the J&J vaccine Wednesday and has had expected side effects so far which dissipated by Thursday evening. (Arm soreness, chills and tiredness) He said he is perfectly fine today.


Glad to hear everyone is having a successful first year, whether attending college remotely or in person.

D had a great fall semester, and the college managed to create a nice bubble on campus while testing everyone 2X/week. It was the perfect time to attend a small college in a semi-rural environment. She enjoyed her classes and did not have trouble making friends.

This spring D is still enjoying college, but like @EconPop’s son she is also hitting the reality of what it means to balance her time. She auditioned for the spring play and got a decent role, but it is VERY time consuming! She has had rehearsals 4-7 p.m. the last few weeks and is feeling stressed and overwhelmed. Between schoolwork and the play she has little pure “down time.” She even had to pause her search for an internship, which I’m not happy about. Although she loves her theater class and the play, she is happy the play will be over in another week. In addition, the novelty of a roommate has worn off. They were friends in the fall, but now seem at the merely “get along” stage. I told her that is fine, and really you just want to have a roommate that is considerate and respectful—no need to be good friends. Still, she has decided she wants a single next year. Personally, I think having a roommate has been good for her growth.

On the plus side, she received her first vaccine dose the other day and the only side effect was a sore arm. I’m hoping the second one in 21 days won’t pack a punch. :crossed_fingers:t5:


@ChangeTheGame Congrats to your S! The internship sounds fabulous. What a great score for a freshman!


My daughter is enjoying her second semester in DC and doing well academically. She is fully vaccinated but still wearing a mask and social distancing as needed in public. Her school allowed freshmen on campus second semester and now her university is slowly beginning to lift some restrictions but not many. She can’t wait for in person classes in the fall and loves her roommate like a sister. They loved living together so much this year that they are living together next year. As the semester comes to a close she is busy applying to summer internships and excited about coming home for the summer. I hope all of our young people in the class of 2020 get more of a traditional college experience in the fall of 2021. Thanks for being the most supportive group of parents as we experience this journey together.