• Christine Mastandrea

Nothing Going As Planned? Here’s Your Next Move

Updated: 2 days ago

Over the past few months, high school students have faced multiple uncertainties, while hoping for things to go back to normal at the start of the school year. I know this well because I (just like them) crave structure. The reality is, many people thrive off knowing that if they do “A”, it will almost certainly lead to “B”, and without having a traditional “A”, guidance is being sought for what a student’s next move should be.



What I mean by this is that a lot of students were banking on this year to add things to their portfolio that would later help them in the pursuit of their college goals. This includes things like: being named team captain, participating in mission work, interning at a state representative’s office, etc.


With a variety of cancellations, students and parents are wanting answers for how to make up for it – and I can’t blame them.


Plus, even if you were to take “college” out of the picture, most students do these things because they genuinely enjoy them. High school students need to be active, engaged and stimulated for their physical and mental well-being. For this reason, leaders in Education are coming together in an effort to find solutions across the United States.


If you had a plan and are back to the drawing board, here are few ideas:


  • Can you replace a cancelled internship with a traditional high school job? I’m a firm believer that having a job in high school is highly underrated. Jobs (no matter the task) provide real world experience that is invaluable for teenagers. I recently read a college essay written by a student through his perspective as a Publix bag boy. It was phenomenal.


  • Can you do independent research or writing on a subject area of interest?


  • See what type of virtual volunteer work is available. Reach out to community organizations and even consider tutoring other students virtually. Our younger students especially need this!

  • Reach out to the activity leaders at your school and ask them questions about their plans for remaining engaged as a community.

  • Start an online Etsy Shop.

  • Develop a Book club or Running club.

  • Reach out to someone who is working in a field that you’re interested in and ask if they'd like to mentor you.

  • Call a local nursing home to see how you might be able to brighten up someone’s day – even from afar.


Note: There will be a section on the 2020-2021 Common Application for students to include how they have been impacted by Covid-19. Use this field if necessary to explain any impactful cancellation, but make sure to back it up with what you then did to make up for it in your Activities section.

“I like to make things happen; and if they don’t happen, I like to make them happen.” –Winston Churchill

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