On the last day of school, most students stare at the clock when minutes remain in the school year, already imagining the endless days of gaming, watching television and hanging out with friends. However, this is only true in elementary and middle school. For high school students, summer is the time for expanding and fluff up that resume for your college application. Sadly, this year, most of those summer internships, classes, and jobs were either canceled or went online, leaving highschoolers bored at home with little to do.
Luckily, there is a new list for you bored and somber teenagers-
1. Create a resume
First and foremost, if you haven't created a resume yet, then do so. For high school students, your resume is a document that should consist of your education, awards, and achievements, internship and jobs as well as volunteer hours and your extracurricular activities. If your resume has these few categories, it will make your life so much easier when your college applications come around. Furthermore, when you grow older and are out of college, your resume will look slightly different because then you will be using it to apply for jobs. But there is no need to worry about that right now.
You want your resume to read nicely and be appealing to the eye. The best way to do that is to find templates. Some websites that have free resume templates are Freesumes, Canva, and Google Docs. A wise man once told me,"'Writing a resume is an art, you can spend hours on it and still not feel satisfied but, that is a good thing.’" The quote has a very explicit message: you should have fun with your resume at the same time you need to spend time on it. A resume is the most valuable document that a person can have because you will use it.
2. Take an Online Course
A traditional summer plan involves taking a course at universities. Even though some of these courses were either canceled or went online, you can still gain knowledge by taking a free online college course. Attending a program is a great way to either hone in on your passions or widen your knowledge. Here are a couple of online sites that offer such services:
Coursera offers over 4000 courses ranging in subjects from Data Science, Computer Science, and Business to Health, Engineering, and different languages. They provide hundreds of free programs taught by top tier institutions and colleges like Stanford, John Hopkins, and Google and function as a class. The structure of most courses is in a weekly form that contains easy to understand video lectures and even homework assignments. At the end of the free course, you can purchase a certificate starting at $49 (USD) that can then go on your resume.
Edx is another site that offers college-level courses. On Edx, there are a lot more free courses that you can take when using their audit feature. Furthermore, the main difference between this and Coursera is that they have more Advanced Placement (AP) courses. AP is a program created by the College Board that offers an intense college-leveled curriculum that high school students can take. So this would be a site to self-study for an AP test that you can attempt at in Spring.
Udacity is the last of the three most popular online course providers. Udacity is a unique site compared to both Coursera and Edx because they offer nano degree courses. A nano degree is an online certification that you can earn in a year or less time that teaches rudimentary leveled computer programming skills that can help you get a job at a company such as AT&T.
All three options are great; it just depends on your interests. For these courses to count towards your resume, you need to purchase certification for a small fee. I say a small fee because these are college courses that would cost so much more than taking it on campus at the university itself. An important point to know is how to and where to put it on a resume. On your resume, under education you would want to read something like this:
“January-March 2020: Online Course “Introduction to Vital Signs", the University of Pennsylvania (via Coursera), an introduction to the vital signs in our bodies (with certificate).”
3. Gain Leadership Experience
A great way to gain leadership is to withhold an executive position at a club or extracurricular. Leadership plays a prominent role in college admissions and is a good skill to know. Interestingly enough on Instagram, numerous high school and college students started various organizations around their passions. Now that summer is coming to an end, a lot of the leadership positions are occupied. However, there still are a couple of programs that offer leadership positions:
Vote For Democracy is a nonpartisan operation that is committed to registering people to vote nationwide. Some of their leadership positions include - chapter leader, where you start a chapter in your neighborhood to promote voting, technology team, you help fix the website and social media team, where you create posts for the Instagram page daily.
Youth Med Initiative is another youth-led institution that urges to spread knowledge about various medical topics. They have multiple leadership positions like a lead researcher, where you write articles that get published on their website, lead editor, who edits the articles and lead of outreach that sustains relationships with other organizations to help grow the program.
When you follow any one of these groups on Instagram, they will recommend other programs like them. If none of these groups or positions interest you, feel free to make an organization that matches your interests. Use these examples as inspiration, whatever you aspire to become, think of a tangible plan to found and create something that you love.
Volunteering is the best way to give back to the community. Especially, right now in the world, so many people can use help. Some ways that you can volunteer is by writing a letter to a healthcare professional or a sick patient, tutor younger students, or distributing food to those in need. A couple of places that are an outlet to volunteer are Summer Give Back, Spe. Create, and Letters and Love.
In conclusion, your resume is a crucial document because you will use it for both college and later when applying for a job. So, you need to make sure that yours stands out from the rest of the applicants. During summer is the best time for a high student to expand and even though most of the work is under quarantined, you shouldn't let that stop you from upgrading and fluffing that document. Some of the options that you can part-take in during the pandemic are creating a resume, taking an online college course, gaining leadership, and/or volunteering.