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During the coronavirus how can I adapt my extracurriculars online?

MAR 30, 2020 • 8 min read

As the world reacts to the global pandemic of the coronavirus, we have had to adjust and adapt. We find ourselves in a very unique position which plays as both a negative and a positive. On one hand, sadly, the whole world has been tipped into uncertainty thanks to this universal pandemic, but on the other, we are standing as a united front - as one humanity, sharing hardship and boosting each other in times of need.

As a student, your traditional approach to extracurriculars has shifted as you have had to reconsider in-person projects and look at alternative ways to make a difference and boost your extracurricular profile. So now is definitely a time to think out to the box and show what an innovator and leader you can be, and how adaptable you are to new and unpredictable circumstances.

Our Crimson extracurricular mentors have been blown away by some of the clever, innovative and genuinely considerate ideas some of our students have developed. These students have taken the circumstances presented by this unique time and turned them into possibilities and opportunities to ideate, grow, develop and give back.

Here are just some of their brilliant ideas and projects our students have brainstormed and built under the guidance of their dedicated Crimson ECL mentors.

Humans of the Coronavirus

One student has interviewed citizens from the 25 most affected nations around the world, from Iraq to China to the USA, asking them a series of probing questions.

Juts some of these questions include: How are you feeling? How is the media coverage in your region is affecting you and your family? How they you managing in self-isolation? How are you managing these periods of change?

The idea behind this project is to provide people an online platform to be connected in a time of social distancing, without losing the social context and to relate to other humans going through the same experiences.

Ventilator Fundraising Art Initiative

One Crimson student has partnered with a local artist in New Zealand, and has commissioned 85 pieces of art relating to the coronavirus. Looking at this through an artist’s eyes, it encourages people to think of the other side of humanity, to see the situation from an alternative perspective.

The student then created a website to host an online auction to sell the collection, the proceeds of which will go toward buying ventilators for the local hospital.

Development of Hand-Sanitizer

Globally, it is a known fact that products such as hand sanitizer are a scarcity during this period. It is well documented that being extremely cautious with general cleanliness and sanitation is key to preventing the spread of the virus - so being unable to access a simple product such as sanitizer has been a concern for many.

A Crimson student, acknowledging this situation and recognizing a local shortage in hand-sanitizer in their own community, researched the various components of the product and how to make it.

They then went ahead and purchased the contents individually and assembled packs at home. These were then donated to local low-income communities who were struggling to get sufficient supplies during this time of crisis.

Guide to learning online during the COVID crisis

As schools close physically and move to providing classes online, it changes the dynamic of the learning environment drastically.

Using this situation as an opportunity to adapt and assist others to adapt to this change, a Crimson student who had extensive online learning experience with Crimson, saw this as their opportunity to make a difference.

This student published an extensive blog about online learning, allowing both students and parents to share what they have learnt about the online learning environment and how to flourish in it. The aim of the blog is to both educate students as to how they can improve learning outcomes online and to help parents support their children through access to additional online resources and references.

Want to learn more about ECLs, then visit here

With ongoing developments in technology, the way we interact with our world is indeed changing. You don’t need to wait until the environment changes to implement extracurriculars online; instead you can utilise online initiatives to stay ahead of the curve.

Don’t Stand By,Stand Up

A Crimson student attended a school where there were, sadly, many young deaths attributed to alcohol and drug abuse. Acknowledging that perhaps students might listen if the warnings of certain activities came from their peers, they developed an initiative that was peer-to-peer led.

The program, which involved expert external university drug and alcohol coaches who gave their time to host free information sessions, was conducted online to give students a way to freely access information rather than being forced to learn in a classroom.

The student also organised a special program for their school’s senior school prefects, and other key students, to give them training in how to identify at risk peers and the steps they could implement to help them. The program gained media attention, and editorials were written about the initiative in national newspapers.

Muslim Head Scarf Initiative

A prominent private all girls high school banned any headwear including those of religious affiliation. Determined to make change in order to allow students to feel safe at school while wearing religious headwear, a Crimson student created an online petition through change.org.

The petition quickly gained traction and amassed tens of thousands of signatures, which showed the student that she wasn’t the only one at the school that felt this policy wasn’t acting in the best interests of all students.

The student was then contacted by the media, which then covered her initiative and gained further support in order to pressure the school to revisit the ruling. As a result - her school has now abandoned the restrictive and discriminatory policy.

Online Newspaper for Youth

Now more than ever, students are involved in global affairs and have a voice when it comes to issues that affect their development - and also those that will ultimately affect their future.

A Crimson student developed an online platform to host a youth newspaper in which students can write and submit stories about news that affects them. All articles then go through an editing phase, and are then submitted to a committee who select the best ones for their audience and are subsequently published online.

By going through a selection process, it encourages the author to think about the most relevant and thought provoking content that will resonate with the readership.

The project evidenced just how rewarding an activity can be when you have to consider multiple perspectives and differentiated views on current events.

Internship at online business media platform, Unfiltered

There is no doubt that even before COVID-19, more and more businesses were moving online, and as a result, remote workers are on the rise as the barriers formally built due to geography are eliminated.

One Crimson student had first hand experience as to what this shift involved.

This student undertook a remote internship to online business media platform Unfiltered - a rewarding and enlightening experience which, as you would expect, was nothing like the standard internship that you would experience in a 9-5 office environment.

The student assisted with writing press releases, content creation and social media exposure. They also received valuable insight into the workings of a startup, and was able to talk about this in their US university application, and were eventually accepted to Stanford and Princeton!

Internship at satellite manufacturer

Fancy being an astronaut? One of the invaluable advantages of taking on an internship in your interest area is that it gives you uncencorsed insight into exactly what that career path involves.

A Crimson student was interested in aeronautical engineering, and was placed in an internship with a rocket company through the Crimson network.

As part of the internship they were able to gain experience in the operations of the manufacturer and the teams that made up the organisation.

To top off the experience, they were given the hands-on opportunity to build an online data-visualization tool to help prospective customers estimate their cost savings.

Animal Rights online protest in support of an American Marine Theme Park

Passion is a good place to look when you are considering an ECL project, as it will most likely take you to places and create ideas you never would have otherwise considered.

You may be aware of the negative press that animal parks get, not to mention the focus of marine animal parks in recent years. However, one Crimson student took the other side of the argument and realised that the parks that do conduct ethical and positive work are miss-judged due to media generalisations.

The student ran an online global activism campaign to raise awareness for the good American theme parks are doing - and the fact that they are not being appropriately credited for their positive initiatives in the media.

As a result of the student’s actions, and the positive media response, the marine park’s share price grew substantially over the following 2 years!
The student spoke about this project in their application to US universities, and in the end gained admission to Harvard and Yale

During times like this in the world, it ultimately brings out the creators and entrepreneurs who can see a problem that they can have impact on. If you would like to speak to someone about your ECLs during this time, contact us here to arrange for a Crimson advisor to get in touch.