In a zoom presentation just before the beginning of summer, Jeff De Taso, the expert psychologist advised a few creative ways to cope with the current situation, maybe find a virtual internship, and focus on a summer purpose.
De Taso recommends parents and kids to think about what kind of story they will want to tell at the end of this summer.
“Many kids are feeling a loss of motivation, a certain disinterest in everything, and if you see these things, please pay attention,” he said to parents. “Kids have a tendency to think of unrealistic fears that not necessarily will happen, but the drama gets a little inflated. The emotional part is on the edge right now.”
We know that many kids will be focusing on college essays, and that’s a great thing.
De Taso, whose son is in college, fell into a lucky situation. He had an internship lined up for this summer at a bank, and it turns out he will be working from home.
The idea for this summer is that it’s better to get an unpaid job than no job at all. Or perhaps, look at this time as an opportunity to develop new interests.
“This summer, delve into an interest, a passion, a hobby. And delve deep. If you’re an artist, delve into it, if you’re an athlete, go for it. It’s better to focus on one area rather than scatter many different things,” Jeff explained. “In the eyes of a college admission officer, they want to see the commitment to something.”
According to some college career advisors, it never too late to secure a virtual internship for this summer. It might not be as easy as it would have been without pandemic, but certainly possible.
Participating in community services, volunteering online, digital courses, and updating your resume, are all great recommendations from De Taso for this summer.
There are several career quizzes online that help teens and college students discover their vocation. Princeton Review has a great one:
The assessment offers a free vocation test.
Briggs Myer Personality Test offers a personality test:
Another interesting point is how teens and college students tend to shift their sleeping schedule during this pandemic. Many kids are going to bed much later and waking up later too. Like 2 am to 12 pm, and that has to change to fit a virtual internship. “We need routine and structure back in place”, De Taso said.
Although we talk about meditation all the time, kids tend to look at “this subject” with a certain disdain. It would be great if we could help them open their minds toward wellness and meditation. Even if it’s just five minutes a day. Just like meditation is very helpful for adults, it’s just as helpful for teens and young adults. De Taso recommends “Insight Timer” which is a free meditation app, with different meditation styles for all different ages.
If we are still under lockdown in the upcoming months, here are a few ideas for teens and college students to focus on:
- Prepare for SAT (Khan Academy offers free online courses)
- Update their resume
- Research colleges and participate in virtual tours
- Start looking at college application
- Start preparing for the supplemental essays
- Take online classes and webinars
Enroll in free online courses such as:
Try some online volunteer:
Jeff DeTeso is a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist. He graduated from Williams College with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and then moved to Greenwich, CT where he worked as an elementary school teacher at the Greenwich Country Day School for 9 years. He completed a Masters in Education (Ed.M.) and a Doctorate (Ph.D.) at Teachers College, Columbia University. He worked at Greenwich High School and at the Waverly Group. Jeff is currently the Director of Counseling at Greenwich Country Day School.