In normal times extracurricular activities are an important part of the application to US colleges. Schools want to see your passion and interest reflected in your activities over a period of time. Now that we are all in some degree of a lockdown and practicing social distancing, all of these activities have been canceled – the concerts, competitions, internships, job shadowing opportunities, and volunteering.
The change in extracurricular activities will especially affect the high schoolers who are applying to college in the fall.
If you are completing your junior year, you were probably looking at the upcoming summer break as a prime time to demonstrate your passions to the admissions committees through your activities
Although you may be feeling anxiety around this, rest assured that colleges are going to be looking at applications very differently for the fall 2020 application cycle. Many are waiving SAT and ACT score – going test-optional for this year, and they will be looking at the activities differently as well.
Ask Yourself These Questions:
- What are the colleges and universities, I am interested in, looking at in terms of what I was able to do in quarantine?
- Did I find a way to help those in my home or working in the frontline?
- Did I stay curious and committed to my passions even if it was in a different way?
So What Can You Do?
Here are some suggestions to stay engaged and grow, even when you cannot leave the house
- Making Masks
- Help deliver food or outdoor chores for elderly neighbors
- Assisting younger siblings with homework
- Learning new skills like cooking and making meals for your family
Check out these online volunteer possibilities – all are international, but may not be available in all countries
Amnesty Decoders use computers to help researchers with data to research human rights violations
Bookshare is an app that connects blind & low vision people with sighted volunteers
Catchafire This search tool is exclusively for online volunteer projects. Each one has a timeline that can range anywhere from an hour to a few weeks. You may be asked to help a not-for-profit by writing thank you letters or editing photos.
Crisis Text Line Volunteer to help the Crisis Text Line continue to offer free, 24/7 support for those in crisis. If you’re at least 18 and can commit to volunteering four hours aweek, you can apply to be trained for free.
DoSomething.org empowers young people to enact social change. Volunteer online through one of their campaigns to help solve real-world problems.
Project Gutenberg. The goal of the project is to create the largest digital library, and so far they’ve gathered 59,000 free eBooks. Volunteer by donating eligible materials, transcribing books into a digital form, or proofreading work.
Smithsonian Digital Volunteers Help make Smithsonian Institution collections more accessible by volunteering online to transcribe historical documents or edit Wikipedia articles related to their artifacts and research.