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            By Liz Jackson

This year, with nearly all U.S. colleges and universities employing test-optional admission policies, and with many colleges announcing that they will continue to be test-optional for several years into the future, your extracurricular activities will take on a more significant role in college applications for the foreseeable future. Most colleges consider themselves communities of learners, where students’ experiences are shaped both in and out of the classroom. It’s no surprise, then, that they are looking to admit engaged and active students, since that is what they hope students will be when they arrive at college!

But how can you stay engaged in extracurricular activities this year, with so much uncertainty due to COVID? Though some activities, like sports or volunteer opportunities in hospitals or nursing homes, might be cancelled, there is still a lot you can do to remain productive, demonstrate your leadership, and dedicate yourself to your community. One idea is below.  And remember that working with a college counselor is a great way to get support in finding meaningful extracurricular activities that will enhance your college applications in the years to come! To schedule a consultation and learn more about college counseling, please email us!

How to Become an Extracurricular Entrepreneur: Your teachers are busier than ever this year, with teaching AND trying to learn how to bring their course content online! This might mean that some of the clubs they advise have been a little bit dormant since the start of the school year. However, this is actually the perfect opportunity to help take the reins of the clubs you care about and to make a major impact. Try emailing the advisors of your clubs and offering to help plan and publicize activities. Offer to find a guest speaker to talk about climate change for your Environmental Club, or to plan a food drive for Service Club–these are great opportunities to develop as a leader, to build community among your classmates, and to grow your relationships with the teachers who advise your clubs.  

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