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5 Things Your Teen Should Do To Help With Uni Applications

Graduate hands throwing their caps into the air outside their university graduation

5 Things Your Teen Should Do To Help With Uni Applications

There are many nerve-wracking moments in the life of a parent. From the moment you find out you’re expecting, your entire world morphs into a chaotic, stressful, beautiful mess. It doesn’t get easier when they’re born, defenceless and small. But there are also endless gloriously bitter-sweet moments that follow. When they first laugh and talk and walk, and get hurt and learn new things. These are the moments that make up their life, and of the more impressionable moments is when they go to university. But for that to happen, they need to get into university. Because let’s face it as sad as it is for you to send your sweet baby off – it’s sadder if they stay (For say, forever). So here are a few ways to help your kid rock his/her university applications:


Find Their Passion

The thing with university and everything from this point forward in your teen’s future is that they shouldn’t waste time on things that don’t matter to them and that they aren’t truly passionate about. Why? Because doing a ton of extracurricular activities might look great on paper but if your child isn’t passionate about any of it, it’s like it doesn’t even exist at all. Think of it like this: If you enter into a relationship pretending to be someone you aren’t, there really isn’t any way to keep that up forever. Eventually, you will yearn to be yourself, you will stop doing the things you pretend to like and start doing the things you do like. This will undoubtedly end your relationship. In the same way, getting a scholarship based on these activities that they don’t love and do not want to do, will end in a miserable disaster. So help your kid to find his/her passion. It can be a beautiful journey for the two of you and it will allow you to help them craft a way forward. Sometimes though, finding their passion it isn’t a monumental realisation but rather a peaceful delight or an intense fascination with something that they often do and enjoy.

 Writing on the university campus grounds reading "passion led us here"

Get Them Involved.

It’s one thing to have a passion and a way forward but the only thing that will get your child noticed is action. If they want to be a writer. They have to write – endlessly. Artists have to create their art. Scientists have to get involved with experiments/ studies/ research. Musicians have to play until the cows come home. (Because cows apparently have curfews too). Help them to get involved, join communities. Are there any types of competitions to compete in? Or events or workshops? Clubs perhaps? Or online courses that your child will be eligible for? And if there’s none of those, can your child possibly start exhibiting (or pursuing) their own work online? He/she could always start a hobby blog or a vlog that documents their journey of pursuing their passion. It’s also a great way to build recognition for their work and it can even count as business experience. Besides, summer is the perfect time to take on a new venture. But of course, remember to add all of the above to their application.

Get Some Official Curriculum Action in There

Papers don’t always prove everything, but it certainly doesn’t hurt. Some universities offer great High School programs. High school programs are enrichment classes designed to help teens get out of their comfort zone and try new things. It’s perfect for teens who find they have more than one passion or those who aren’t settled on one yet. These are not university classes though. But those are up next. University Classes are extremely competitive and need to be applied for way in advance but if your child gets in, it can do amazing things for their university application. It also gives them a taste of university life. So if your kid is considering skipping university altogether, this may also persuade them to change their minds.

 Woman standing with books she is studying during the break before starting university

A Summer Job Before Uni

Of course, you knew this was coming. It’s a well-known but often overlooked fact that work experience looks great on a university application. Jobs really hold do hold significant value for a high-school student. Apart from the fact that uni is education and preparation for work, jobs can help highlight a few essential things:

  • That your child can efficiently manage his/her time.
  • That they have learned collaborative skills such as teamwork, prioritizing and stress management. These are the type of skills that help them adapt to university life.
  • It shows a sense of maturity and responsibility that kids who would rather have fun, does not emit.
  • Working a job to help pay for university shows commitment to their success and their future, a quality that will not be undervalued.

Even a job flipping burgers will look better on an application than no job at all. Some work experience is a definite must, even if it is just for the summer.

 Boy working behind a bar before he starts university

A Shadowing Job

A shadowing job is where your child tags along (shadows) an industry professional in order to get a feel for the job or industry they are pursuing and also to gain some knowledge. Shadow jobs will often involve assisting said industry professional with small tasks, for example, an assistant photographer, who hands the real photographer spare batteries, flash, adjusts lighting for the setting etc. Along with looking good on a university application (especially with a great reference letter) a shadow job will give your child the experience of seeing the job first-hand as well as acquiring valuable information from an experienced professional that could help them improve their own work.


In Conclusion

There about a million and one other things that would strengthen your child’s university application. But the important thing is to be creative with it. Think out of the box and showcase your kid’s uniqueness in a way that is different, true or maybe even a little odd.