Spring and early summer are
normally a very exciting time for upcoming high school juniors. You begin to
plan for your future by researching potential colleges, schedule for testing,
apply for internships and schedule college visits. Unfortunately, we are in
unprecedented times that has left many in a state of disarray and uncertainty
of how to proceed.
But do not be dismayed. All
colleges and students are trying to adjust to the uncertain and new challenges.
It has essentially leveled the playing field. Do not use this time to take it
easy…continue to pursue the colleges that interest you and build your college
resume. Per the Inside Higher Ed, “This is precisely the time that you
can show your creativity, resilience and ability to adapt. Admissions officers
are looking for students who are resourceful and who create a new path where
there seems to be a dead end.”
Use the following guideline to protect
your college plans.
Were your college tours cancelled
due to the pandemic? Think outside of the box. For now, this is the new normal.
Begin researching the colleges that interest you online. Start demonstrating a
virtual interest in them. Contact the admissions representative in your area
and email them with specific questions. Schedule virtual tours. Sign up for
their mailings and follow them on social media. This will show them that you
are a serious applicant.
Even though the SAT and ACT
entrance exams have been postponed, continue studying for them as usual. This
will give you additional time to be prepared. For example, Khan Academy offers
a cost-free SAT prep course and the ACT Academy offers free ACT study
resources. Although some colleges have announced that they will be adopting
test-optional or even drop the testing requirement, not all schools have. It is
possible that some of the colleges on your list may still make these a
Although, you may not be able to
participate in your normal extracurricular activities. College admissions
representatives will be looking at how you adapted during these unprecedented
times. Did you use the time wisely? Some recommendations from an independent
college admissions consultant per the Inside Higher Ed are as follows, “self-publish
a memoir of living through the pandemic, pick a hobby, learn to play an
instrument via YouTube, plant a garden, participate in new service
efforts, or safely connect to the elderly in your community.” Show how you are
adapting to the times and being creative with what you are passionate about.
Contingency Summer Plan:
Did you have a summer internship
planned or had registered to take an academic course that were cancelled? Per
the Patch, “If you lined up an internship, reach out the organizer to
see if there is a virtual alternative. If it was an academic course, find a
comparable course online through your local community college, Coursera
or EdX. If it was volunteering, see if you can manage a non-profit’s
social media or write uplifting letters to the elderly.”
Bottom line is to stay on track
and do not lose focus of your end goal. These are uncertain times for everyone.
It will be noted by college admissions representatives how you adapted and your
creativity during this unparalleled time. Keep striving to do your best!“The choices you make
today design your future.”