Stumped by Coronavirus? Know how to save your High School extracurricular activities!

Every student in high school knows that an impressive profile is a must if they want to get into a prestigious educational institution after graduation. While stellar academic performances look great on a student’s profile, the role of extracurricular activities cannot be ignored. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, all normal life was interrupted and so were student’s extracurricular activities. All educational institutions shifted to online platforms and many extracurricular competitions and shows were canceled, athletics suffered the most by far.  Every student was impacted in the same way, and there are still methods through which one can overcome the disruptions brought by the coronavirus pandemic. Experts who analyze the undergraduate admissions situation year after year has reassured the students that there is still time to salvage the situation.

In this guide of EduQuest, we illustrate and try to solve some of the most frequently asked queries.

All of my extracurricular activities were canceled. Can they still be of use?

They most definitely can still be of use. As said before, all admission authorities are very well aware of the current situations and every institution will consider extracurricular activities that got canceled due to the virus. If a student was selected for an internship or a summer program by a prestigious institution, then that information would still look good on the student’s profile. The student can still keep that activity on their list of activities explaining the method of selection, what they did for getting selected, and lastly mention that the extracurricular activity got canceled due to the coronavirus. If someone got selected all-state level competition, listing it will show their capabilities. This strategy can also be applied for competitions that got canceled or club activities that got interrupted midway. All the student has to do is list their work in their application and mention the reason for cancellation.

Extracurricular activities get a place in the undergraduate admission abroad application because they help the committee to access the skills and activity level of the student. Even if your event got canceled, it shouldn’t take away the fact that you got selected or you put your effort to be involved in extracurricular activities.

How can I improve my profile? All extracurricular activities are halted during the Covid-19 pandemic.

While it is true that sports activities and all kinds of group activities are canceled, there are still some things a student can pursue to improve their profile. There are still some extracurricular activities that is available in online mode. The activities like speech and debate can easily continue online, and many competitions have also been held with a high participation rate. There have also been incidents of drama teachers shifting their extracurricular activities online, and recording audio plays, and making short films. Athletics will end to suffer more, but experts advise athletic students to continue working out, highlighting their skills through videos, and try to contact coaches.

What if there are no opportunities for online extracurricular activities?

Coronavirus has supplied a lot of time for students to pursue self-driven projects.  These projects do a good job of demonstrating your skills and hobbies and give proof of your initiative. Perhaps, students can pursue building a new program, or self-publishing articles, or even training for marathons and competing when the conditions are safe. There are numerous online courses currently, and students can take advantage of those by learning a new skill.

Creating content is a good way to showcase your skills. People can take initiative to start a blog or a podcast on topics of their interest. Social media posts may not count as they are haphazard but a well-organized blog or YouTube channel about your fields of interests may impress people in undergraduate admission committees. The content should follow specific themes, such as psychology, pop culture, or film theories. Framing of the content is much important when it comes to quality, be sure to present things intellectually.

Consider these situations-

If a student has an interestin fashion. What should he or she do to showcase their skills in a meaningful way?

The student can start a YouTube channel committed to fashion. Just trying out different looks and making videos may not hold much weight, but perhaps researching sustainable fashion issues, and producing good videos devoted to findings would be a great start.

If a student has an interest in film. How should he or she portray her interest effectively?

They might consider starting a blog. The student can consider elaborating on prevalent theories of filming movies instead of randomly writing reviews of movies. Anything well-researched and beautifully framed will hold weight in applications.

The point is that more quantifiable achievements will result in better chances of admission. Any kind of achievement such as having a certain number of views, publishing a few articles will count as your extracurricular activity.

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What is the overall impact of extracurricular activities on my profile?

In the prestigious colleges, they are extremely selective, and extracurricular have a big role to play then. Many students will end up applying to the top colleges, and all of them will have great academic scores. The best way to differentiate among them is to look for the extracurriculars in the student’s profile.

There are certain levels for evaluating extracurricular activities. Not all activities would get the same level of consideration in college admission. There is a lot of scope for variation, but generally, colleges in the United States divide the extracurricular activities into three tiers. This is how the admissions authorities compare different activities and select students. The chart below gives a clearer picture-

Tier number Level of occurrence Examples
Tier 1 Extremely rare (national level activities) Any national level competitions. Like, United States of America Mathematical Olympiad
Tier 2 More common than Tier 2 but still impressive (State level recognitions or leadership roles) Participating in all-state competitions, winning positions of state-level competitions, or being the student president of the school.
Tier 3 More common than both tiers, but still merits some admiration for leadership or distinction Class treasurer or perhaps participating in regional level activities.
Tier 4 Very common, no mentions of leadership roles Volunteering or holding some job.

It is no secret that Covid-19 has changed everything for the worse, and the educational system is drastically affected. Many activities have been postponed or perhaps canceled. It is not advisable to sit idle, there are many ways you can still improve your profile. Even though many extracurricular activities have halted at the moment, participating in online courses, taking up self-driven activities are some good ways to overcome adversities. Continuing with extracurricular activities will spark the interest of many colleges.

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