As we are coming closer to the end of the year, a lot of you, are dearest students, might be thinking and reflecting on how this pandemic has affected your lives so far. Many of you are probably starting to get worried and have a lot of questions about what this all means for your preparations for university and how will all this look on the eyes for their admission officers. But don’t worry!!! Things are not as bad as they seem.
Universities all around the world acknowledge the difficulties you are going through, and they are making changes to their requirements accordingly. For instance, Harvard University has acknowledged the fact that testing dates for the SAT exams throughout May and June have been cancelled or postponed, and they have assured high school juniors that they won’t be penalized for not being able to submit such scores for the next year’s applications. On the other hand, universities in the UK have extended their May’s undergraduate reply and decision deadlines from May to June 18th, meaning for those of you who have received acceptance from universities in the UK you can take more time to decide which university you will pick.
However, let’s go back to the things that you could do while staying at home. There are still tons of things that you could do to prepare yourself for next year’s applications while in quarantine:
1. Keep a Strong Mindset: First and foremost is it very important that you are patient and optimistic. There is still a long way to go until next year’s applications, and there are new opportunities evolving everyday for you to search and analyze the universities you intend to go. More and more universities are creating online virtual tours where you could learn everything you need to know about them from sitting comfortably in your couch.
2. Take an Online Course: There are numerous websites that offer hundreds of online courses for FREE!! This is the perfect time for you to sit back and explore a subject that you would be interested in studying in college. Recently Yale University has made available for you to join its most popular course “The Science of Well-Being” for free, where you will learn all about the ways to increase your happiness and be more productive. Other websites that you should consider visiting for such courses are:
3. Extracurricular Activities: For most of us when we hear extracurricular activities our mind probably goes directly to sports, clubs and community services. Doing all these things at our current circumstances might seems kind of impossible. However, I have a good news for you.
Although universities pay a lot of attention to your extracurricular activities, they don’t look at your extracurricular activities done only in one year, rather they take into account your experience during the whole high school years. So, you don’t have to worry if you cannot participate in different sports tournaments or do community service as much as you were planning to during this semester or your summer break.
Some things that you could do under current circumstances are taking care of your younger sibling, offering to teach someone for free virtually, taking care of your garden at home, or even help your family with their family business, develop a skill that you always wanted to, learn how to play an instrument and take a yoga class.
4. SAT Preparations: Although the SAT tests are currently canceled, you can still use this time to prepare for the coming tests at home. There are tons of practice test for SAT all over the internet. A perfect place for you to search for practice tests would be The College Board. Another great website that prepares you for the SAT is Khan Academy.
5. Practice Essay Writing: College application essay, also known as personal statement, is one of the most important factors in your admission to a university. The personal statement is a showcase of your personality, experience, achievements and future ambitions. This time is a great opportunity for you to reflect and draw upon your past experiences and think of new creative ways of making yourself stand out from other applicants. You could use your free time at home to practice and be creative.
As you can see, preparing for colleges while in quarantine is not that difficult. There are a lot more things that you could do in addition to the ones mentioned above. All you need to do is maintain a positive and an optimistic attitude, and find ways of being creative and productive.
Stay home and keep yourself safe!