Faster than you can say “Kris Kringle,” the holidays will be over, and college application deadlines will be looming. That’s why winter break is often a great time for high school students to get a head start on college apps before regular decision deadlines overwhelm them come January and February.
Here are some tips on how to use your final high school winter break to prepare for your future:
1. For your personal statement, listen to NPR’s “This I Believe” program for inspiration. Then, think about three things in which you believe.
2. While you’ve got your family around you, have them read your essays and/or give you ideas of what you could say in your college app essays. They’ll let you know what they think and whether you should mention something else/something less.
3. If you don’t have much of an extracurricular resume, amp it up during this generous time period. ‘Tis the season of giving, and with that comes plenty of volunteer opportunities. Find one that intrigues you, and participate. A clothing drive? Caroling at a nursing home? There are many possibilities.
4. Got older cousins/relatives in college? Ask them for advice. They can tell you what they did when they applied since it’s fresh in their minds, as it wasn’t that long ago they were in your shoes.
5. Treat your college application like a high school project. You’d work on a project over break if you knew it was due when you get back to school, right? Treat it like that. Otherwise, you’re in for a world of procrastination pain once the holidays are over.