Seeking Out Activities During Social Distancing That Strengthen Your College Application

extracurricular activities

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  • The coronavirus pandemic has changed nearly everyone’s way of life in some aspects.

    If you’re a high school senior or recently graduated, it’s likely that you weren’t able to enjoy your last few months of high school in-person.

    Maybe you weren’t even able to have a graduation ceremony due to social distancing efforts.

    While all of these precautions were put in place to keep people safe, this pandemic seems to be ever-changing. As more states have started to re-open and are stepping into different phases, many colleges are also planning to re-open for in-person classes in the fall.

    If you’re applying to colleges for the fall semester (or anytime in the next year or so), you might be worried about including activities on your application that can be appealing to those evaluating it. Colleges tend to look for well-rounded individuals who take part in extracurriculars. The Coronavirus has made it nearly impossible to be a part of any club, group, or team for several months.

    So, what activities can you participate in now to strengthen your college application for the future?

    Focus On Your Interests

    There are no hard and fast rules about which clubs or organizations you have to be a part of. With that in mind, now is a great time to focus on your existing hobbies and interests.

    Maybe you’ve been a fan of the great outdoors for years. Things like hiking and metal detecting are great hobbies if you’re interested in learning about ecology, biology, geography, or even meteorology. Metal detecting can also be a great way to learn about electronics.

    Do you have a love for animals? Most animal shelters across the country are open in some capacity and always need volunteers.

    Even if you have to distance yourself from others by cleaning cages, taking dogs for walks, or fostering pets, you’ll learn a lot about basic animal care, and if you have an interest in animal science or if you have ever considered becoming a veterinarian, that can look great on a college application.

    You can always refer back to the non-academic experiences you’ve had in previous years, too. Have you held a summer job for the last few years? Do you work somewhere after school?

    Think about the skills you’ve learned in that job, and how they can be applied to your future. Make sure you note that in your application, especially if they can connect with a specific career path you’re interested in.

    Boost Your Communication Skills

    If you’re at all interested in a career in business or marketing, activities that will strengthen your communication skills will look great on a college application. For example, medical device marketing involves creating campaigns that focus on:

    1. Product benefits
    2. Prices in comparison to competitors
    3. Places the product can be bought
    4. Promotion of the product

    As you might expect, all of those things require excellent communication skills. Working in any marketing department or serving on a board for a business will also require those same skills. You have to be comfortable speaking in front of people, knowing how to read people, and offering your opinions and advice.

    Some activities that can help you with your communication skills include joining the debate team, tutoring other students, or signing up for an internship where you can learn the ins and outs of the career you’re interested in.

    You can even go one step further in boosting your communication skills by working on different philanthropic efforts. During this time of social distancing, so many people need assistance in different ways.

    If you can organize things like a food drive, pet supply drive, or delivery service for seniors in your area, it will look great on an application and will help you to be more organized and more vocal all at once.

    Utilize Your Resources

    One of the worries during the COVID-19 pandemic is how it will affect people’s mental health. According to the CDC, the stress during a pandemic can cause issues like:

    1. Changes in sleep patterns
    2. Changes in your eating habits
    3. Fear over your health or the health of loved ones
    4. Financial worries
    5. Difficulty concentrating

    If you have an existing mental health condition, the stress of this current situation can even exacerbate your symptoms.

    On top of these uncertain times, applying for college can also be a stressful experience. You can become overwhelmed by applications, not knowing whether you’ll be accepted, or simply not knowing how you’ll fill them all out.

    other valuable tips:

    It’s estimated that at least 3.2 million young adults have experienced a depressive episode. Finding ways to manage your mental health as you look toward the next chapter of your life is incredibly important.

    So, don’t be afraid to use your resources while you’re filling out college applications. If you’re struggling with your mental health, seek out help from a professional as soon as possible.

    Though this time of social distancing might seem strange and scary, it shouldn’t stop you from fulfilling your college dreams. Get creative with your applications and understand that it’s never too late to start a new activity.

    Image Credit: extracurricular activities by twenty20.com

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