How to Be Productive While You're Stuck at Home

Get a head start on your college applications
March 14, 2020

Are you a high school junior stuck at home while we’re all socially isolating ourselves? Here’s how you can stay in control and be productive while hunkering down. You have a lot going on, not least because you have to balance all your new new e-learning requirements, and also because the College Board and ACT organizations are being weenies and refusing to cancel their March tests across the board. So much feels up in the air right now, doesn’t it.

1. Make virtual college visits. Our next post will have advice for for how to do this.

2. Register for May-June-July-August-September tests now. Test centers will fill up. Do some practice every day.

3. Assign yourself something creative/helpful to do. Write a novel, draw something, make a prototype for your crazy invention, start a phone tree and recruit volunteers who will check in on older adults, be part of a grocery delivery team for the immunocompromised, etc.

4. Create a physical exercise routine that you can do at home. You will go stir crazy otherwise.

5. DON'T WRITE YOUR PERSONAL STATEMENT. It will get stale if you write it now.

Instead, do this:

  • Write your story.
  • reate your resume.
  • Write a Why College X essay for every college on your list (you can develop content by doing the virtual visit) and write at least one Why Major X essay ( or write a couple if you have more than one serious interest). We’ll post soon about Why Major X essays.

6. Learn how to do your own laundry. Really. It's an important life skill you'll need in college.

All of these activities will serve you well and give you a head start on the application process (well, except laundry, but that matters for other reasons).

Be well, and hang in there!

P.S. "What I Did During the COVID-19 Crisis" is going to be a popular and awful essay topic. We already feel sorry for admissions officers.

Anna Ivey is one of the founders of Inline. An experienced admissions consultant and a frequently cited media expert on the topic of college admissions, she is also co-author of the college admissions bible How to Prepare a Standout College Application. Learn more about Anna's background here.

the word.