You’ve dealt with the disappointment of an unfinished sports season, a cancelled school play or concert, a final project, or the opportunity to rock final exams. Long-awaited summer plans—trips, camps, programs at universities all over the world—are no longer feasible due to COVID-19. But even as universities scramble to consider a range of possible scenarios for the upcoming summer and fall semesters, admissions officers have a message for high school students who plan to apply to colleges: This is the time to be inventive by delving into new and fulfilling projects.
Here are some ideas for you to consider.
1. Research and sign up for college online programs; check with any of the colleges in which you are interested and see what they are offering to high school students.
2. Start your college application process: Research colleges virtually and start filling out the applications; do drafts of your personal statement; create your resume and an activities list.
3. Learn a new language or become more fluent in a language you’ve studied.
4. Start a journal or a blog about your thoughts.
5. Learn to play a new musical instrument, to understand music theory or composition. There are hundreds of resources to get free lessons from Fender, YouTube, individual artists, and the Berklee School of Music.
6. If you cook or bake, ask your friends and family to share recipes and create a survival cookbook. Take a Masterclass on how to make and publish a cookbook.
7. Research your heritage: Create a family tree, interview your relatives and learn more about your family history. Find photos and put together a digital album.
8. Learn about an area of art, music, theatre or literature. Try your hand at painting, drawing, composing, music theory or writing.
9. Read and watch videos of Shakespearean plays.
10. Study a particular period of history and write a historical novel or play.
11. Read about mythology; compare the mythologies of different civilizations.
12. Pick a topic in your favorite subject and do some research; follow experts in the field.
13. Interview professionals in a field that interests you; arrange to intern when you are able to do so later on.
14. Create an online survey about a topic that interests you; tabulate and analyze the results.
15. Pick an author and read a variety of his or her books, stories, articles or poems/keep a journal of your thoughts and/or start a virtual book club.
16. Learn grammar, punctuation, and spelling; enrich your vocabulary.
17. “Visit” several countries, sights, museums, national parks, etc., and write blogs about them.
18. Learn about interesting areas of science such as meteorology, ornithology, astronomy, epidemiology, etc.
19. Contact your own high school for ways to do online tutoring.
20. Research and pursue opportunities to volunteer online.
21. Connect with people who are alone, old or ill; organize your friends to do the same and share your experiences.
22. Learn about cars for basic care and maintenance.
23. Learn and share information about the life skills you will need when you go to college: time and money management, doing laundry, basic cooking, sewing, basic first aid, arranging your own transportation, etc.
24. Learn to sew, knit or crochet; open an Etsy store to sell your work
5. Learn Tik Tok dances or any other kinds of dancing.
Think about some of these ideas to pursue; learn something new and different…something that will show that you’ve got the flexibility, the spirit, and the drive to deal gracefully with change.
Please feel free to contact me if you have questions or concerns about any aspects of the college application process in our “new normal” world. My role as an independent educational consultant is to provide you with as much information and guidance as possible.