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Online Extracurricular and Volunteering Ideas To Make the Most of Your Lockdown

So many of us have found our lives up ended during COVID-19. However, just because all of your extracurriculars have been canceled doesn’t mean you can’t still try to find ways make the best of this time at home.

 

So at Insight Education, we wanted to put together a list of great online extracurricular ideas that you can do at home: from volunteering, to academic research, to creating your own impressive project so much is possible!

 

Keep Up Your Clubs – On Video

 

Just because you’re no longer meeting at school doesn’t mean your clubs should disappear!

 

Set up a Google Hangout session for your school club, assign an article or Youtube video as club reading, do your choir practice over zoom, have remote discussion sessions, and keep those friendships and interests alive.

 

 

Volunteer

 

This is a time of need unlike most of us have seen before, and even small actions can make a real difference.

 

If you are able to go out and sort food at a food bank like Sacred Heart or Second Harvest of Silicon Valley or join a mutual aid network to deliver groceries to elderly neighbors, these are amazing ways to give back. However, there are many equally good opportunities that you can still do from home.

 

These opportunities can be anything from:

 

 

  • Sewing facemasks for healthcare workers or knitting blankets for children in hospitals

 

 

 

 

Additionally, one volunteering area where there is huge need is in academic and peer tutoring.

 

Try contacting local schools, tell them what subjects you’re best at, any volunteering experience you have, and see if you can digitally tutor struggling students who are no longer getting the help they need in school.

 

At Insight Education, we recommend looking for other volunteering opportunities on AllforGood, VolunteerMatch or Idealist that you can do anytime, anywhere.

 

 

 

Academic Research

 

Did you know that you can do college-level academic research in the comfort of your own home?

 

Academies like Pioneer Research, Polygence, and colleges like Tufts are connecting students to top professors to produce guided research projects and academic papers developed with the oversight of subject matter experts.

 

This can be especially valuable for students studying STEM or who are thinking of going onto graduate school, where research is such a huge part of the academic experience.

 

While applying for these academies and colleges is a more common way of getting research opportunities, some persistent (and lucky!) students have also found research projects through directly emailing professors or through creating their own science fair projects at home.

 

 

Your Own Project

 

Whether it’s finally earning your black belt or getting your Girl Scout Gold Award, completing a big project is not only a great way to get that feeling of accomplishment, but it can also really impress colleges as well!

That’s because taking the initiative to make a creative project of your own lets you do something you love while also demonstrating how proactive and driven you are.

 

At Insight, we’ve worked with many students who’ve created their own projects, many of which have been documented in digital portfolios.

 

For projects to be impressive, they have to be something that’s highly original, creative or done with a significant amount of effort.  Most great self-created projects aren’t projects that are whipped together over just a couple of days or a week or two.

 

Most truly excellent projects require a minimum of a month or 30-hour commitment and are typically based on the arts, STEM, or community service. Creating a project plan, finding some people who can help, and consistently sticking to this plan are essential for success.

 

Past projects have included a:

  • App developed by a student to help the blind to identify obstacles

 

  • Virtual tutoring platform

 

  • Series of costumes designed and sewed by a student

 

  • Healthy food garden built at a low-income school

 

  • Series of talks raising awareness around a social issue

 

  • Writing and publishing a short story

 

 

Please speak with your Insight counselor to learn more about brainstorming ideas for your own impressive, self-created project.

 

Find your Project, Find your Balance

 

Taking on a new online extracurricular is a wonderful idea, however, remember that right now we can’t only be focused on being productive.

 

It’s also important that you stay balanced and well, whether it’s by staying physically active, finding time to get away from digital devices, calling a friend, or by challenging yourself to take one or two of the ideas from this article.

 

By keeping together your school club, volunteering, doing research, or taking on a creative project we can all work to make the best of these unprecedented times.

 

 

Authored by Amy Brennen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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