Updated: Jun 3, 2020
What a crazy time to be alive. I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy. On a side note, I'm sure that when we are older, future high school students might be interviewing us on the Global Lockdown of 2020 for their history projects.
One unfortunate side effect of the pandemic has been the cancellation of many summer programs. Some universities (USC, Johns Hopkins,Stanford,Harvard, and more) have moved their pre-programs to take place online. As I mentioned inmy last newsletter, extracurricular activities are incredibly important for college applications. For the students who have had their summer programs cancelled or are looking to add to their extracurricular profile, you can still create your own summer EC. This is what I like to call a Capstone Project.
To get you started, here are a couple of ideas:
Learn how to code: We are in the age of technology, and it is more important than ever to know a programming language. Trust me, this skill will be useful to you regardless of the field you pursue. Learn how to code in any language. I recommend C, since it forces you to learn all the basics. Python is a good choice if you're interested in data science. Once you feel comfortable with a language, work on a larger project that you can post on Github and add to your extracurricular profile. Projects could be a website, database, or Chrome extension.
Start a virtual mentorship program: Reusing the coding example, let's say you are fluent in Python and C. Start your own virtual class via Zoom or Google Hangouts and teach other students (or even adults) how to code. This is an easy way to demonstrate your skills, leadership, and initiative. These are all traits colleges, particularly the top ones, love. Another idea is to offer free tutoring sessions for students struggling with certain subjects.
Host a virtual masterclass: This is perfect for those artistically inclined. Let's use music as an example. If you play the flute, you can host a masterclass for middle school students or your peers. A masterclass is essentially a private lesson that is open to an audience so that more students can learn.
Help those in need: Are there students in your county or district who don't have access to high speed internet or laptops? Start a creative fundraiser to support them. You can even combine the last two ideas, charge for those programs or classes, and donate proceeds to purchasing internet for students in need. Are there people in your neighborhood who aren't able to go to the grocery store to pick up essentials? Get a group of students together who will shop for them. There are countless ways to help those in need. Hopefully these ideas give you a good starting point.
If you would like to make your own summer extracurricular activity but are not sure where to start, let's work together to figure out a plan. Send me a message through my Contact Form or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.