Summer is traditionally the time when high school students are learning new skills through extracurricular activities that will help them in life and on their applications to competitive, selective post – secondary programs. However, this summer with many activities suspended due to COVID-19, students seem to have less opportunities to do this. Or so you think!
The summer of 2020 and social distancing has changed extracurricular activities as we know them, but this is the summer that will show who can demonstrate resiliency and involvement despite the ‘new’ normal and add activities to their resume.
I recently read a post by a former assistant director of admissions at Yale University, Susan Chan Shifflett who wrote,
“Instead of seeing this time as a barrier, it’s a ripe opportunity to stand out. The Coronavirus crisis is leveling the playing field, and it’s a chance for the most creative and independent students to shine. When I was an admissions officer at Yale University evaluating applications, I was trying to figure out, “who made the most lemonade out of lemons?” or “who made the most of the resources available to them?”
Even if the extracurricular activities look different than the past, you can use this summer to develop in ways to show your growth and potential, to learn some new skills, and to develop your character.
We’re not recommending that you do a lot of activities just to fill your resume, but do things that interest you and build skills that you think you can use. With this in mind, let’s look at some ways to do this:
- Start by googling, ‘Student volunteer in Canada’. There are a lot of different opportunities for both virtual and face-to-face volunteering.
- Think about what you might want to study after high school and then take a course on IXL, Udemy, Coursera, Academic Earth or EdX. You will learn specialized language, a little more about the topic and gain insight into what you will have to study if you choose this as a program.
- Consider studying programming language from the same sites just mentioned and also look at Khan Academy
- Get certified in a software product, like Microsoft Office products.
- Take an online course to learn how to create great presentations with PowerPoint.
- Ever thought of starting your own online site? Now’s the time to launch an online store.
- Enhance your writing skills by taking an online class in writing for young learners.
- Start a blog or podcast about something that matters to you.
- Create an online portfolio to showcase your artwork.
- Carry out science projects taking place around Canada through the Citizen Science Portal
- Make YouTube videos to teach something to younger students.
- Learn about music production through Berklee’s Electronic Music Production and Sound Design Virtual Workshop or Beatdrop out of Calgary.
- Start a blog about something that matters to you.
- If you have programming skills, do home-based coding for nonprofits that need help through organizations such as Benetech, Hashtag Charity.
- Learn debate skills through Debate Camp.
- Sign up for virtual summer camp and explore your interests. OurKids has an extensive list.
- Explore the understanding the fundamentals of architectural design, architectural education through U of T’s Daniels Bootcamp.
- Join a global network of digital volunteers helping with research to expose human rights violations: Amnesty Decoders
- Volunteer to assist blind and low-vision users through this mobile app: be my eyes
- Take online photography classes offered by Udemy.
No doubt you have many great ideas about what you can do this summer to help improve your community, yourself and build your list of skills, so make them happen and if you need help we are here to help you start your own unique project.