Best practices for profiling adopted by students preparing for abroad admissions

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The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has caused unprecedented disruption to life. It has not limited our ability to gather in all walks of life but has also affected our participation in high school extracurricular activities. Although, when you apply to a college, along with your academic grades, these activities would play a significant role and will be taken into consideration by the admission committee when reviewing your application. Therefore, indulging in extracurricular activities would help you stand out from the rest and prove that you are an extraordinary candidate that is deemed to fit in their institution. Here in this article of Eduquest, we have discussed below the Best practices for profiling adopted by students preparing for abroad admissions.

Excel through a pandemic!

Now it’s obvious that you can’t participate from home in a school marching band or be part of a musical on stage. Neither can you participate in any athletic activities such as track, ball field, swimming? While the pandemic has collaterally affected extracurricular activities and made it difficult, it has certainly not made it impossible to pursue. Rather admission committees would be impressed that given its challenging times, yet the student has been creative and evolved.

Quick thoughts to ponder on before you commit to an activity

  • It doesn’t matter what kind of activities do students pick

Yes, it doesn’t matter what kind of activities you participate in, but what matters is what you do with the activities you’ve chosen. For instance, Student A has decided to pick music and play a musical instrument. Now there maybe thousands of candidates who are musically inclined and play an instrument. So how would this set you apart from the herd? Therefore, come up with creative ideas to enhance your activity. Student A could start an after-school music session at a local school or launch a fundraising activity in collaboration with a social organization to reach out to students who can’t afford to buy musical instruments.

  • Don’t hop into low-threshold activities 

The logic is simple. If an activity is easy to join and to explain, then you are just like the rest and undistinguishable. That’s what a low-threshold activity is. Activities like participating in model UN, five AP courses, a science quiz bowl, decathlon are easy and typical.

  • High-threshold activities will put you in a spotlight

A high-threshold activity would allow the committee to know that you’re a reliable, hard-working candidate. High threshold extracurriculars by their very nature are hard to pursue and that sets you apart. For instance, Student A decides to volunteer at a local community for single-income families. But apart from merely volunteering, student A starts a state-wide network on various social media platforms of art kits and distribution centers. To enhance the expertise, the student needs to take up the community services activities that they like to enjoy, and which matches up to their interest. To elaborate on community services further, we will discuss a few examples that are, if you are distributing goodies for that you are using your parent’s money. It can be added up as a noble cause but can not be justified as your talent. Therefore, it may not be counted as your interest in community service activities. It is better to work on your talent, like if you open or join an NGO in high school, then the admission committee can consider it as a point in your cv. You need to keep learning and enhancing your skillset and interest and keep distributing that among the community and that the best community service activity.

These extracurriculars will not only enhance your profile but as individuals will help you build your communication and social skills.

  • Toss out extraneous extra-curricular activities

Time is an asset, therefore do not waste it in an activity that you are not interested in or is a pain to squeeze in. The reason is since you are not naturally inclined to it you won’t perform well in it and it would reflect on your profile.

Another suggestion would be to focus on just a couple of extracurriculars that are meaningful to you. Don’t try to be the jack of all trades. Don’t burden yourself with too many activities because that would not only be stressful but negatively impact your grades.

Extracurricular ideas during a pandemic

Showcase your creativity

So, what if the pandemic has fractured the physical vibe of visual and performing arts, there’s a whole wide world waiting for you. That’s the internet. Go online and explore. Artists can either learn or create new works. There is a plethora of online groups that would have an interest in common with you.

Here’s an example.

Student A had or has a passion for performing arts, namely, theatre but due to the pandemic can’t perform. However, he can easily access the internet and upload videos on social media and YouTube. Further, the student can conduct sessions with a group by either live recording or by uploading their lessons.

Athletics

If sports drive you, get moving. Firstly, lazing during the pandemic could cause your fitness goals to go astray. Therefore, it is extremely important to stay in shape and strengthen your skills. Organize group training sessions with your team or form a new group through virtual groups who share the same likings. These group training sessions will help you commit to a workout regimen and accountability as well. If group sessions aren’t your thing, there are countless apps available to track your progress, such as Spring moves, Waterlogged. NBA legend, Kenny Smith’s Jet Academy programs allow you to participate in virtual athletic camps under the guidance of professional and experienced trainers.

Volunteering

These are uncertain times and opting for volunteer programs could be the best way to support each other and develop social skills.

  • You can join a non-profit organization and help in delivering goods and other essential supplies. Given that senior citizens are most susceptible to get affected by the virus, they’d love to get some help. So, reach out to such families in your neighborhood.
  • You can pursue an internship at a local library, and maybe start an online book club for students and children. Since most parents are working from home, they would find it difficult to constantly entertain and engage their children. Doing this would ease their stress.
  • You can provide virtual COVID-19 assistance as a Digital Advocate for the Red Cross.

Learn a new skill

It’s always great to keep upgrading your skills because your skills are your greatest assets. So maybe you could try your hands-on learning a new talent or a skill.

  • For instance, graphic design. You can master the art of taking great pictures and fluently navigating programs such as Photoshop, Adobe InDesign.
  • You could even try your hands-on coding by taking online courses offered by e-learning platforms.
  • If you would love to learn a new language, there are millions of apps and support groups willing to help you. You could study solo through language learning apps like Duolingo that are fun and intriguing.

Go Green!

You can become a student activist and revolutionize your neighborhood. And if you think you’re too young? There are tons of activists as young as nine years old.

  • For instance, you can advocate the demerits of fast fashion. Fast fashion is an industry that replicates clothes by using cheap, toxic, non-environmentally friendly materials. You can rather fuel your start up by initiating a thrift store.
  • You could organize a weekly community vegetable or fruit swap. This could help individuals with excess harvest to drop off their unwanted fresh goods and pick an alternate item. This approach helps food from being wasted and at the same time reduces our carbon footprints.

Tutoring

With so many schools going into a lockdown and switching to online learning, there’s an even greater demand for students to help each other academically.

  • If you were part of a holding in-person tutoring program at school or even at home, you could switch to virtual if the students have access to the internet and a digital device.
  • You could offer virtual tuitions to children especially if their parents are essential workers or working at home.
  • Senior students with good technical skills can even help their teachers by conducting review sessions for their juniors since the teacher would be relatively new with technology.

Attending Virtual Meets and Sessions

Attending virtual meets offers the students an even better opportunity to learn about the institution they are interested in. You can learn about the university from their alumnus, current batch of students, professors, and counselors. This experience can later be very useful when the admission committee questions why you desire to join this college?

Secondly, attending virtual sessions is great because you get to learn from people who are masters in the field. You can participate in online debate sessions, panel discussions, attend various summits, etc. These experiences will shape you and make your profile appealing.

Start a business

Start a business and start small. You can start by as small as offering pet-walk services for someone who does not have the time or is sick. These small jobs may seem unfruitful at the beginning but as you proceed, these are the steppingstones to success. As you keep growing through these experiences’ values such as responsibility, accountability, entrepreneurship, etc will get inculcated in your personality. These values will set you apart.

Applying for Internships

An internship is an official program offered by employers to students who are deemed to be potential employees. In an internship, you can take a call whether you would like to work full-time or part-time. Taking up an internship will help you to gain valuable work experience and will enhance your researching skills in the area you would like to make a career in. There are paid as well as unpaid internships, but the main thought behind an internship is to receive professional experience and not necessarily the monetary value. After completing an internship, most of the companies would offer you a certificate and letter of recommendation, which would give you an edge in the future.

Don’t stress too much on scores

Although many colleges and universities have expressed that competitive exams such as Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), and others are a prerequisite, the entire selection of a candidate may need not be driven around it. Because even though the test scores are a part of the process it’s the personality, the values, and the experiences gained through activities that set them apart from each other. For better score in SAT/ACT/GMAT and another exam you can also opt for SAT coaching in USA.

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