In this time of heightened uncertainty, it is difficult to plan in advance and ‘get ahead’. With the Coronavirus pandemic continuing, numerous schools are engaged in online learning and most in-person activities are limited or nonexistent. While distance learning may not be ideal for everyone, it is a necessary adjustment in today’s world. Many students may wonder how to keep up with their extracurricular activities. Do not worry. There are plenty of opportunities to be active remotely and continue online with extracurricular activities. Extracurricular activities are a great way to keep busy, pursue your passions, and stay creative, especially during these times!
Below are some ideas for continuing extracurricular activities through a virtual lifestyle.
1. Community service in your local area or anywhere in the world. Now that everything is online, there are some advantages as well as disadvantages. For example, you don’t have to focus solely on community service in your area. If you are interested in other countries and may need help with what they may need, try reaching out to a variety of nonprofits. The virtual world can provide opportunities for students to connect with new people from all over the world, as well as within our community. Many organizations need volunteers. Some ideas are:
- Contact animal shelters and see if you can be a foster parent.
- Contact a local hospital or nursing home to set up video chats, play music, or write letters to patients.
- Mentor or tutor a younger student online.
- Start an online charity fundraiser.
- Volunteer for a campaign by calling, entering information, or helping people register to vote.
- Look for apps that can help others. For example, do virtual volunteer work through Be My Eyes , which allows you to connect with blind people and help them with everyday tasks.
- Check out Zooniverse.org for a host of crowdsourcing research projects that you can devote your time to.
2. Stay active. This may seem like a big hurdle, but you can certainly take it. As Mandee Heller Adler, founder of International College Counselors, stated in the Aug. 21, 2020 US News article, “ Athletes in high schools may be most affected by COVID-19. To stand out in the recruiting process, athletes must compete… Not being visible and not building an athletic resume can reduce a student’s chances of landing a spot on a collegiate team or earning an athletic scholarship. That said, it is important to continue your training, even in this new virtual world. You can virtually continue training for your sport with some of these ideas:
- Make a plan and routine for healthy eating and exercise.
- Create your own YouTube channel or blog with healthy eating tips or home workouts.
- Create a Zoom session with friends and follow a YouTube training channel together.
- Create a Zoom session with your teammates and draw up a training plan together.
- Collect game images and videos from your sporting events and create video clips that highlight your skills.
- Set goals for yourself and train for them. For example, set a goal to run a marathon. Today, there are several virtual marathon events that you can participate in, or you can set a goal to train for an in-person event if that’s safe.
3. Be creative. At this point it may seem impossible to think out of the box, but now is definitely the time to do so! Some ideas for continuing with visual and performing arts are:
- Work on a film based on the current pandemic and how it affects the world or your community.
- Write a short story, movie script, poem, play, or even a novel.
- Try the NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) challenge in November: nanowrimo.org .
- Start a blog or vlog.
- Start a tutorial or virtual class on crafting, jewelry making, makeup, drawing, watercolor or acrylic painting or anything else you are interested in.
- Learn how to play an instrument. Or if you already know how, try learning that challenging song you never thought you had time for.
4. Keep an open mind! The whole world is going through the Coronavirus pandemic and everyone is affected in different ways. Keep an open mind. Embrace these moments of “virtual reality” and make the most of them. Stay positive, seek opportunities and ask for help, and you will find meaningful extracurricular activities that are right for you.