How COVID-19 Has Impacted Community Service in Admissions
This article was written based on the information and opinions presented by Christopher Kilner in a CollegeVine livestream. You can watch the full livestream for more info.
Community Service Expectations From Colleges
Covid has had quite an impact on community service opportunities for high schoolers. The opportunities available to students have changed substantially, yet colleges still use community service experience as a barometer for how active you will be on their campus outside of class (amongst other things). With many meaningful and impactful volunteer work opportunities and existing initiatives and programs having come to a halt due to the pandemic, how you balance colleges’ expectations during this can be a challenge.
While things are slowly getting better, finding opportunities can still be frustrating, especially trying to find volunteer work that you are actually interested in and passionate about. Despite these challenges though, colleges still want to see how you have been involved in your community.
This is where you have to get creative and take the initiative to find opportunities. Rather than something that’s mandated by a program or part of a larger organization, you should look inside yourself and find that area you are passionate about. You will really stand out from other students when you show this creative way of finding opportunities despite the circumstances.
Different Volunteering Areas
A few ideas to think about on how you can get started is to reach out to local hospitals and medical centers to see if you can volunteer for vaccine distribution or vaccine campaigns. Covid is both a medical and social issue in our society, so there will be volunteer opportunities in the fields of STEM and humanities.
Social Media Opportunities
You can reach out to local community services and see how you can help, whether it’s at animal shelters, community gardens, soup kitchens, or local businesses. These are all areas that have been heavily strained by the pandemic and are always looking for volunteers to help them out.
Especially consider applying your experiences to their social media, producing content on their Instagram or TikTok to help spread awareness.
Students who are generation z have a lot of knowledge to market when it comes to social media. Organizations need help with marketing themselves on social media and this is an area where you can really help. Older generations did not grow up with social media the way generation z students do, so the need for younger volunteers is only increasing as our lives become more remote. Social media work is also a great opportunity because you can do this work at home.
Getting Creative With Your Volunteer Work
You can plant a garden in your backyard and give the produce to local food closets, neighbors, or families. A lot of people have started youtube series educating people on different topics, such as charities they can donate to or vaccination campaigns. There are many different ways you can get creative with your volunteer work and this is really going to make a big impact on your college application.
For more information about everything volunteering, check out our posts about volunteering to learn more.