An Interview with an Oratory Alumnus


Image courtesy of The Post Gazette

Matthew Yeager, Staff Writer

As COVID-19 continues to have a devastating impact on our country, schools around the nation have been forced to restructure and reinvent certain aspects of their curriculum as we have seen since the beginning of this school year. An Oratory alumnus who is also my older brother has agreed for me to interview him about his time in Oratory and about what college is like during the COVID pandemic. He is currently attending Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh, PA, until Christmas and afterward finishing the rest of his year to study remotely back in New Jersey. Here is the interview:


  1. How has COVID affected your school and how it is currently running? 

Like the vast majority of schools across the country, COVID has affected basically every aspect of school life at CMU. Most classes are online, the amount of students living on-campus has been limited, and there are a lot of strict protocols to be followed. From what I have been hearing from my friends at other schools, however, CMU has been handling COVID more seriously than a lot of its peer institutions; this can be seen in our case counts. The school itself is not doing any worse than it was doing at the start of the semester, which is definitely a plus.


  1. What is your current freshman experience like?

Despite the pandemic, my freshman experience has been more normal than anticipated. I found the transition to college easy, and although the classes are harder, I don’t mind the extra work because I am studying what I want to study. Meeting new people is still possible online and in-person (socially distanced of course), and the mentality of new students is basically the same as any other year: everyone wants to make new friends and will find a way to do so.


  1. What is your favorite thing about college?

My favorite part of college is definitely its freedom aspect. You are just so much less restricted and there are so many more choices to make, whether they relate to your daily life living alone or to which classes you take.


  1. What tips do you have for current OP students?

My biggest tip to OP students is that you should explore as many different subjects as you can while you are still in high school. It’s the perfect time to find out what you are really interested in, and you don’t have to stick with a certain area just because you have in the past. 


  1. How are you adapting to virtual school and what are your overall thoughts about it?

Adapting to virtual school has actually been pretty easy, mostly because the majority of my classes have been lectures so far. There are many benefits to these types of classes being virtual, like recordings being available of class that I can look back on if needed. Being able to wake up 5 minutes before class is pretty cool too. Overall, virtual school definitely has its drawbacks, especially when looking at smaller-sized classes. I, fortunately, don’t have to deal with these being online as I do not have any yet but I can’t imagine what it would be like to be in elementary or middle school at this time.