5 months ago
Admissions Advice

What type of extracurricular activities can I do during quarantine

Hi everyone,

Quarantine has put a stop to all my extracurricular activities and no school based activity is meeting at this time.

What extracurricular activities can I do during quarantine at home.

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@Moonbin5 months ago

Virtual tutorials, help organize student events onto the student calendar, or try and start an online club! :)

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Accepted Answer
5 months ago[edited]

There is an unlimited amount of home-based ECs you can do.

Sports - You can pursue an individual sport like biking, running, hiking, yoga, etc. It's important to have the mind/body activated.

Intellectual vitality - You can learn outside of the classroom like sign up for a college course online like Outlier.org, or at least some MOOC on eDx.org where you can learn and advanced subjects like Chinese History or how Physics works in Cooking. You can teach yourself Korean or Turkish. You can become a high-ranked chess player on Chess.com. You can write poems, short stories. You can make short films. You can write songs and perform them on youtube.

Community service - Almost every city-wide or school district group is meeting online with Zoom these days. You can volunteer with your city hall and find out what kind of advisory boards or councils you can either apply for or get nominated. You can volunteer at your city library even if the library is closed. You can mask up and visit with the elderly and senior centers. I'm personally on no less than 7 online committees in my home town from being the Chairperson of the School Districts DEI community, Steering committee at my library, running the student chapter of the BLM, being a board member of an anti-racism activist committee started to by concerned moms, etc. You just have to research and reach out. No one will find you on your computer at home.

School groups - When you say there are no school activities, why is that? Our school is 100% online but I'm the Editor of our newspaper and we still have to write news articles and online publish them. Our student council still meets online and plans activities. Our band and orchestra give concerts online. And our sports teams are masking up and practicing. Are you saying there is nothing to do at your school except log into Zoom? How about peer tutoring online? Or helping a teacher as a teacher's assistant online? Or if no clubs are meeting, then start an online club and meet once or twice a week and organize activities. You can start an Italian or Russian club. Make one activity a "group-Netflix party" watching Italian or Russian films with subtitles and then having a follow-up zoom call about it. Or start a baking club and each week everyone makes something unique and different. Then you drive or have someone drive and make rounds so everyone can personally sample the treats and then evaluate them and talk about them. If you have 10 members, you will get 10 handmade treats delivered to your house. Or start a self-help club where everyone gets 3 minutes to share the problem of the week (if they want to share) and students go around and weigh in and give support and a kind ear for listening.

Non-school groups - You can always find some group online and join it. For example, if your school doesn't have a debate team, you can contact the school 2 towns over that might have one and join that group. During our Constitutional Law competition, we had students from the neighboring school join in since they didn't have a team. We got 4th in State and it was done all online.

This is just a statement to whoever reads this answer. If you were super busy and super engaged in your community, school, friend groups, sports prior to COVID-19, chances are nothing has changed, your schedule is just as crowded, it just went online and virtual. However, if you were putting off doing ECs or hesitant or procrastinating committing to something, then you are going to put it off indefinitely because no one is going to invite you to engage, sign up, and drag you to a meeting. Remember that just because we are in a pandemic doesn't mean that the college admissions process got easier, if anything it got more complicated and competitive. The Test-Optional thing is a double-edged sword so to speak. Yes, it makes applications more equitable but guess what?, 50% more people are vying for your spot at your dream school so now you need more course rigor, better ECs, better essays, and better recommendations. Therefore, you get no windfall unless you come from a low-income, first-generation Black or Hispanic background where going test-optional helps your narrative because you have a lack of resources and support to take standardized tests. I'm 100% for DEI-based admissions policies but the rest of you have to get moving or the train will blow by the station and you won't have a chance to board it.

In this environment, the path of least resistance is to do nothing and get stressed out about it. So you have to write down your goals and make a plan and execute that plan. If you don't write it down, it's not going to happen by itself. So if you have 1 EC and you need 5 more, write down 5 more ECs, and make lists of the Top 5 things that interest you and whether you can either join an activity or create an activity that supports that narrative or desired spike in your future application file.

Good luck with your EC journey, the first step is the hardest, which is you need to show up.






5 months ago

I can't really answer in general, but I can tell you what I did. I've started and run online interest clubs, taught online classes for younger students, and stuck with the community service that has stayed open. Try to initiate things instead of just joining because colleges like to see that you've taken the initiative on your own. Good luck!

5 months ago

Most of the extra-curriculars you do virtually will probably be mostly leadership-based and self-driven. For example, you could start a YouTube channel, start an online organization, start a blog, or even see if you can get a remote job or internship, like a social media intern or something.

Collegevine actually has a whole article called " 50 awesome extra-curriculars you can do at home" as well if you're looking for more ideas. Hope this helped, and best of luck!


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