Stand Out: How to Maximize your High School Years
Each year there are roughly 15.4 million high school students in America, with 25% of those students from 24,000 high schools. Each of those high schools has a “Best;” the best football player, scholar, performer, linguist, etc. Competition is stiff for both college and university scholarships.
Furthermore, the number of honor students in India is greater than the number of total students in America, and with today’s global market, future college-goers are competing with scholarship dollars and opportunities internationally. Standing out from the crowd will garner your student scholarship money and opportunities that being one of the many will not.
What is a Stand-Out Factor?
A Stand out factor can be many different things but they are most likely to include:
- Initiative –student initiated, led and directed
- Passion – student has personal investment
- Individuality –has to do specifically with the students core values
- Strategy –student has strategized to achieve
I would also recommend that a Stand-Out Factor include:
- Positive impact on others
- Broad Reach & Big Win
With technology so readily available, it’s almost easier to develop your stand-out factor than ever before. Young creative entrepreneurs can self-publish novels, music, videos, and movies. But, publishing doesn’t automatically make something Stand-out. How can you tell if you have developed your stand-out factor? It’s the difference between ordinary and extraordinary!
What’s a stand-out factor? It’s the difference between ordinary and extraordinary!Lisa Nehring, Director, True North Homeschool Academy
Stand Out Students
Below I’ve listed some of the ideas students that I’ve worked with have actually done to develop their own ability to stand out:
- Write, perform and publish a quality play, book, music or film
- Develop art skills like throwing drawing and painting, pottery, creating stained glass windows/ lamps, blacksmithing, etc and enter art contests
- Hike a trail for a cause or a challenge
- Raise money to travel abroad and serve on a mission
- Breed and trademark a type of fruit or flower
- Breed and sell a pet- iguana, dogs, miniature cows
- Win money as a prize bowler, archer, skier, etc.
- Start a business, track your earnings and impact
- Help run a state or national political campaign, work as a legislative Paige,
- Study and Perform Shakespeare
- Learn multiple languages, particularly Critical Languages
- Travel internationally; create guidebook or blog about travels, do international community service or charity work
- Do hundreds of hours of Community Service
- Build a functioning web-site
- Build something impressive- like a Robot, Drone or Plane, or replicate all of the Enterprises’ ships as models
- Earn a license or Certification– pilot’s, drone, PADI
- Learn tech- 3-D Printing, Robotics, Photoshop, Photography and it’s many digital uses!
- Earn Awards such as the National Latin Exam, German National Exam
- Participate in and win National Competitions- Geography, History, Bible, Poetry
- Participate in CAP or Jr ROTC
- Turn your interest in performing into becoming a juggler or clown
- Turn your interests into an opportunity to impart your knowledge to others and teach a skills you’ve learned in person, or online
Use What You Have
Identify and develop areas where your students show interest or talents and skills they are already using. You might also consider areas that you, as the parent, can coach or develop in your student. If you have a passion or hobby and your student shows interest, I would venture to say that that is an area that would be perfect to develop into a stand-out factor.
Outsource When Needed
On the other hand, each of our kids shows talents and abilities that we might know nothing about. In which case I would encourage you to research and find resources that can develop your student’s interest beyond your knowledge. Resourcing your student doesn’t have to be expensive, as there are so many great online tutorials now. Literally, the world is at your fingertips with the tap of your fingers. At the same time, don’t overlook local resources. My older kids took horseback riding lessons from a National Barrel racer in return for mucking out stalls.
Developing your student’s stand-out factor might garner those students scholarship dollars and opportunities; it might lead to jobs or even a career. At the very least, it will develop your student’s overall sense of ability and accomplishment, as well as soft skills, such as work ethic, communication skills, creativity, and critical thinking.
High School is the perfect time to develop your student’s stand-out factor, through clubs, projects, and course work that helps them understand themselves and opportunities more robustly, such as our Orienteering Course.