IvyWise Resources

Exploring Independent Projects Using Social Media and Research

By Jonathan, IvyWise Master Tutor and Project Mentor

Virtual school got you down? Are you interested in turning your love of memes and social media into a project that could help you get into college? This past year has been hard for many students who want to explore their interests through extracurricular activities but have been limited by the availability of opportunities because of the pandemic. However, there are a lot of creative ways that students can engage in their interests and have something for their college applications through independent projects guided by an expert project mentor. Here are some ideas to help you get started!

Bring Your Favorite Historical Figures to Digital Life

We’re all on social media all the time. This first project idea goes out to my fellow history nerds out there. Have you ever wondered what Frederick Douglass might think if he could peek into our world in 2021? This independent project would be all about nerding out over the historical figure you most appreciate and find intriguing.

With the guidance of an IvyWise project mentor, you could identify and dig deep into primary and secondary source texts, like letters and speeches, that allow you to view the world the way they did and really get into this person’s mind. You could then create a social media profile on the platform of your choice for your historical figure and comment on current events from their perspective. Or it could be a lifestyle or advice microblog in which you fully inhabit your figure’s persona. This could involve posting tweets, short videos, or memes that take your figure’s thinking and give it a 21st-century twist. Bonus points if you develop a following among not only fellow history nerds but also others who become interested in your figure’s unique perspective on our world today. Dive deep into the historical rabbit hole and see what kind of neat insights it can bring to bear on today’s world!

Virtually Level-Up Your Foreign Language Studies

For those of you studying a foreign language: why not dive into the deep end by using social media to improve your skills? What better way to prove to the world that you are getting better at this language than by actively interacting with native speakers? The pandemic may have made it less safe to travel around the world, but the world is still, literally, at your fingertips, thanks to social media. This project could entail a crash course on grammar and vocabulary to cover the fundamentals and then proceed to enrich your learning with a thematic focus based on your interests.

For instance, if you’re passionate about humanitarian relief work, why not expand your network and get in touch with professionals who are having those conversations in their native language? Who knows? Maybe one day you could get an internship, a volunteering opportunity, or even make a career out of what began as a high school project! In addition to a professional network, some of the contacts you make could even turn into friends. Have you ever noticed that we have somewhat different personalities depending on the language we’re speaking? This would be a great opportunity to learn more about yourself and to share some of who you are with native speakers of other languages who are your age. You could review movies, series, music artists, etc., and see your proficiency improve by leaps and bounds. As soon as it’s safe to travel again, you’ll be that much closer to seamlessly navigating the local culture and impressing everyone you meet.

Begin Your Journey as a Researcher

Have you considered doing an independent research project and getting your results published? With the help of an IvyWise project mentor, you could learn the ins-and-outs of how to do academic research at the college level, exploring academic journals and databases, keeping your research findings organized with a reference management system, and, ultimately, end up writing an academic journal-caliber article on your favorite subject, to submit for consideration among student publications, or potentially, even professional journals! As a published author, you can really stand out among your fellow college applicants and demonstrate that you already possess critical academic research skills, which many incoming freshmen lack. Are you excited about the prospect of translating your intellectual passions into a top-notch academic project to wow admissions committees, and hopefully, also contribute much-needed knowledge to the world? Bonus points if you end up doing so in a foreign language!

Finding new and creative ways to engage with your interests virtually can help you stand out when applying to college, and at IvyWise, we offer expert project mentorship in a variety of areas and subjects. Turn your scrolling and screen time into a unique and promising project, thus improving your college admission chances while having some fun along the way! For more information on our project mentorship services, contact us today.


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