COVID19 and quarantine measures are significantly changing our students’ traditional high school experience. Amidst the changes in distance learning and standardized testing, however, the Common Application has announced that there will be an extra (500 word optional essay) to address the adjustments in: grading scales/policies, graduation requirements, instructional methods, schedules and course offerings, testing requirement, academic calendar, etc., around disruptions caused by COVID19 or natural disasters.
While this certainly gives space for students to address any academic limitations, perhaps the most significant barriers that students face recently is the restriction of being able to pursue extracurricular activities. This article will shed some tips on how to remain proactive in growing and developing one’s resume.
Online University Tours
Whereas before, to visit colleges many students had to buy airline tickets, reserve hotels, and travel thousands of miles, these days students can express that same level of interest by merely registering for a college campus virtual tour. Especially because campuses are closed, colleges are relying on live Webinars and have reorganized their admissions webpage. The college tours are especially helpful, as many specific program achievements are highlighted and may be relevant to establishing the reason why a student is applying to that specific school, later for their college supplement essays.
Virtual Visitation examples:
Emory University - https://admission.emory.edu/portal/virtualvisit
Vanderbilt University - https://myappvu.vanderbilt.edu/portal/onlinesession Washington University in St. Louis - https://pathway.wustl.edu/portal/campus_visit Yale University - https://apps.admissions.yale.edu/visit/
Northwestern University - https://ugadmission.northwestern.edu/portal/general
Stock Market Game
The objective of this online game is to generate the largest percentage of returns through virtual currency around real time stock market values. Students should research how to read financial statements, read current events around industries and prescribe their own consumer habits. This virtual game is available from 4th-12th grade, and has over 17 million players worldwide. https://www.stockmarketgame.org/
This is also a partnered competition along with the Stock Market Game, but focuses on the written/analysis portion of investments. https://www.investwrite.org/about
If you love math have got the skills to solve engineering problems, consider this competition where you can join activities and workshops, and of course, compete, and apply your knowledge of coding in context to cybersecurity. https://www.bithacks.io/ (6/6-7)
The Ultimate Scholarship Book
If you have time now, start applying to scholarships. There are over 1.5 million large and small scholarships in the US. The Ultimate Scholarship Book compiles a list of scholarships with eligibility and website pages to refer to. If you have a stellar resume and love to write (or practice writing college essays), use this book to help you get started! Available on Amazon.
Other Online Scholarship sources www.raise.me
Translation / freelance writer
APPLY your second or third language that you know. While test scores are certainly good evidence of your knowledge of a language, students who find practical means to both improve and serve others with this skill set always stand out. From Youtubers, to video channels like Hulu, Rakuten, Viki, Netflix, there are opportunities for students to get involved in becoming a translator (mostly as volunteers, but sometimes paid).
If you are confident in your studies, you may want to practice leadership through an online education service that hires high school students as tutors. https://www.wyzant.com/ https://www.tutor.com/
Online volunteer activities
From a student who is raising money to make face shields on a 3d printer, to a student who is raising money for hospitals in response to the shortages caused by the outbreak, if a student is willing, they will find the means to volunteer. Here are some online resources to help students get started with raising money for their campaigns via crowdfunding. https://www.gofundme.com/ https://fundrazr.com/
Here are also some sites for you to plan out your volunteering. https://www.onlinevolunteering.org
Once again, colleges are not blind to this pandemic and they understand this is a tumultuous time for students. Nevertheless, keep in mind that this time should not be a way for a student to justify their lack of activities or test scores! Continue to be productive, be safe, and I pray that you are all healthy and well!