Don’t End Your Summer by Being a “Homer”

As everyone is aware, the ongoing lockdown caused by the pandemic has greatly messed up everyone’s summer plans and schedules. Several events were cancelled, everything is now being switched to online, and everyone now has to stay home so the choices of activities are  limited. It’s frustrating and incredibly dull. However, you shouldn’t consign yourself to the current situation. If you are determined to succeed and aim for your ideal university, you have to take action now, even during these turbulent times. Here are some basic recommendations.


Stay fit and keep healthy

It’s easy to let yourself go when you have nowhere to go and nothing to do. However, while you may feel like there’s nothing else you can do, just remember: the longer you maintain a lifestyle of laziness and being unmotivated, the harder it will be for you to come back once the lockdown has lifted. It’s important to do some basic exercises to help your mind stay alert and awake. It doesn’t even have to be intense, just some quick sit-ups, push-ups, yoga or similar exercises in the morning and/or at night every day and it will make a world of difference. Everyone loves bubble tea, but try to keep the sugar content low and drink a lot of water. For some people, this might seem like common sense but for others it might seem like it’s an incredible challenge. The hard part is keeping it up every day, but it does get easier the longer you do it!


Do independent research online

Was there a passion or subject you’d like to pursue? Now is the time to do it! A lot of teenagers and young adults often have a lot of passions and interests that they never had time to explore due to school or extracurriculars. Now is the time to do it! It’s important enough that I had to say it twice. Once students enter university or enter the real world and have to work, the time to explore these options vastly decreases! 

The passions and interests I talk about are simple hobbies such as cooking, sewing, drawing or anything that comes to mind. When I was younger I definitely really wanted to try cooking but the opportunity passed by without giving myself much time to work on that. Websites like Coursera and of course Youtube offer a variety of easy to access tutorials on most hobbies and passions that you can try at home. 

This year a student at PANO got into Caltech, his hobbies were learning Japanese, swimming and he worked hard to maintain these hobbies and improved on them. During his admission essay, he brought up these two hobbies and expressed his curiosity in foreign languages and his determination to keep swimming and obtained the professor’s favor. Another student who got into UC Berkeley has guitar as a hobby and joined the guitar club at school. He wrote in his admission essay how much music affected his life as well as how he shares his music with others and also obtained the professor’s favor. So even these tiny interests you have may end up helping you display your specialities and help with your college admissions. But it doesn’t come easy so you have to spend a lot of time trying to make it work!


Take some online classes

I briefly brought up Coursera previously, but it’s not just limited to Coursera. There are a lot of sites which offer several types of courses to help you brush up on subjects you’re weak on or interested in. The best part of Coursera is that since it’s entirely online, it’s readily available and easy to access. 

Take the opportunity to prepare yourself for the classes next year or maybe even challenge yourself with some university level courses. Self-evaluation is important to understand what level you are at so that you can prepare accordingly when planning the courses you will take in university. It also doesn’t hurt just to learn new things in general.

It’s also incredibly beneficial in that online courses require much less commitment compared to traditional courses. If the course ends up not interesting you in any way, it’s very easy to quit and move on. It doesn’t help to try and force yourself to remain interested in something you can’t invest into.


Try Pano’s EMP Program

Pano’s Entrepreneurial Mentorship Program has the benefit of allowing participating students to interact with their mentors remotely even during the pandemic. The EMP is a program which allows students to be mentored by CEOs of startup companies within various industries. It’s an amazing opportunity for students to get a preview of an industry they would like to work in in the future. Ordinarily, the only methods to join a company of an industry which the student is interested in is via internships. However, not only are internships difficult to locate, but they also do not guarantee any results upon completion. The EMP that Pano offers will not only connect the student to a company of a relevant industry, upon completion of the EMP, the student will leave having researched various topics and completed one final project which will be the result of everything the student has learned during their time working with the company. It’s a chance for students to explore and understand if the specific industry they have in mind is really what they want to pursue in the future.


Spend some time with your loved ones

In our current busy lifestyles, mom and dad spend a lot of time on their work. The children spend a lot of time with classes. The time that the parents and their children spend together decreases as a result. However, during the lockdown, everyone should be at home together, and everyone should treasure this time together and spend more of it as a family. It’s something that many people forget about or take for granted.


🏡 Stay safe and healthy!