In case you missed my note over a week ago- I offered some concrete suggestions for how to navigate some of the unchartered territory ahead. Click to read: Coronavirus and College Admissions: School Closings, Campus Visits, Cancellations and Summer
I’m sure you have MANY questions and paramount at the moment is to remain healthy– physically and emotionally. If you’ve previously enjoyed my video or read my blog about What Admissions Officers Consider and writings on this topic, the most important aspect of high school is your Educational progress and in College Planning this boils down to important and curated curriculum choices to accept manageable challenges preparing you for increasingly more difficult content and the transition to a college campus. Secondary in college admissions and in particular – significant to distinguishing yourself from other equally qualified college admissions applicants are your extracurricular activities.
Yet here we are and the world is on pause- but you don’t have to PAUSE! Let’s discuss how to navigate, learn and stay on target. Schedule an informative session to address your Corona-Impacted College Planning questions or watch my FB live mini-sessions starting in May on college planning. Follow my Facebook page for information to be announced soon. We are also starting our College Admissions Essay Writers Block Workshop early in May on Zoom – click to connect and learn more:
At the moment, this is an opportunity for teens to embrace their independence and tackle learning–your school district and/or teacher may not yet have caught up with the technology. If you’ve ever complained about a teacher– no more need to do so as you are now your own teacher –and that’s just fine but a challenge of course. Many but not all courses have subject matter that MUST be learned before the start of a new year– particularly in math, science and foreign languages as content is cumulative. My note above gave some suggestions for how to accomplish that goal–staying on target with learning. I’m a former educator– and as a University Professor with 30 years of teaching and advising experience- I’m confident I can help you get organized to finish your school year. Many school districts are still muscling their way through how to “assess” student’s performance in unchartered territory- maybe even pass/fail for the year (following college’s examples here). Forget the grade- -the issue is what are you learning and will you have your base for the majors you intend to pursue as an undergraduate.
Extracurricular activities – they are no longer taking place or drastically changing. Some interesting possibilities have surfaced for students in all majors. Some rough ideas:
Education/Psychology – Offer services to teach younger children online on zoom .
Business–Begin to track and read about how different sectors are mobilizing to served our country and citizens. We’re not talking about plummeting stock prices–but what are the difficult decisions on how we move industry sectors to redirect resources.
STEM -whether you’re a biologist, emerging doctor or engineer- there’s so much being written — stay aware and write too – blog, consider essay contests on the horizon. CS major-lots of data and lots to sort through- what are the problems that CS could help solve — learn about them.
Art, music, film- there’s a ton of emotion in our world right now and people helping people – capture it and share it with others.
SAT and ACT Test Cancellations
Will the AP Exams be Cancelled?
TESTING– As of now many of you are aware that SAT/ACT tests dates are all rescheduled to June- that’s the least of the tip of the iceberg.
AP exams– Here’s the official college board policy at the moment-indeed this is fluid. If I were to predict–I would anticipate additional dates at end of the summer in August. Many clients throughout the country are writing to me asking me if someone should travel to take the exam elsewhere– NO! Travel is socially irresponsible. If your community is locked down – assume you are a carrier and you don’t migrate to another less infected area adding risk to other communities.. In the short term, this is a game changer. Sure you may have lost an opportunity for college credit, and maybe even changed the progression of your undergraduate years– but you’re in this with all students – together- no one is any more disadvantaged than another student. Accept what you cannot control – and do your best for when this is all behind us-whether that’s 3, 6 or even 12 months- uncertainty is awful -but it is what we have at the moment. Help at home, focus on learning, take space to find light-hearted distractions.
Here’s a great resource I just found in addition to tons of free Yoga and Exercise Apps — I can now visit major museums around the world here.
How you weather the situation is an opportunity – sure, it’s beyond unfathomable to be living through a pandemic with so much uncertainty about its duration and the health of people you know. Everyone of you will be enrolled in college in 1, 2 or 3 years– at the moment, recognize that college admissions next season will differ – with juniors having had a critical year of potential grades/courses and extracurriculars abruptly cut short. Everyone in the same boat– how you respond and navigate as I wrote in my blog last week is up to you.
I’m here to assist in many ways– from:
- helping seniors ’20 negotiate financial aid awards and decide where to place their admissions deposit on May 1
- exploring the best learning opportunities online
- to rethinking college choices and majors in the absence of campus visits
- to rethinking your test taking schedule and test prep
- to creating an extracurricular plan that is homebound and virtual
Watch for news on our FB mini series starting in May and consider joining our college workshop too.
Many blessings and good health to everyone,
Professor Emeritus – Cornell Alumni Rep