College Prep Over the Holidays: How to De-stress but Stay on Track
With the holidays just days away, it’s all too easy for students to check out and go on vacation-mode. While there is nothing wrong with taking some time off to recharge, students who are preparing for the college admissions process need to stay mindful and motivated throughout the season.
In order to stay on track, it’s important to remain accountable and keep tabs on your to-do list. Keep reading to learn more about how to have a healthy balance between work and play during winter break.
Make a Realistic Agenda
As soon as the holidays begin, take time to write out a detailed to-do list for the following days. While it may be tempting to try to tackle as many items on your college prep agenda as possible, it’s best to be realistic about what you can achieve. Take note of any high-priority tasks, such as outstanding college applications or homework assignments due when you get back from the break. Aim to jot down three to five items for your holiday to-do list and work through the bullets systematically to avoid feeling scattered or overwhelmed.
Prioritize What Matters Most
Once you have your to-do list, it can be difficult to pinpoint where to begin and how to get started. To prioritize accurately, students should consider what deadlines are most pressing and evaluate their college preparation progress holistically. For example, a student who has put off SAT testing and is planning to sit for the exam should make studying a priority, while someone who has already done extensive test prep may wish to focus on upcoming school assignments or college research. Reflect on what you have already prioritized and consider redirecting to focus on another component of the admissions process that is equally pressing.
Make it Fun
Try to work a sense of play into your college preparation work whenever possible. Some students may choose to plan study sessions with a friend in order to make learning more of a social experience, while others may wish to incorporate games and puzzles into their test prep. There are tons of ways to make to studying and college admissions tasks more fun, so don’t be afraid to get creative and think outside the box.
Give Yourself Time to Unwind
Even the most motivated students need some time to unwind and enjoy quality time with their families. When writing your college preparation agenda for the holiday season, be sure to pencil in time for family meals, holiday traditions and a few recreational activities that bring you joy. If you’re looking for leisure ideas, consider a movie night, spa day, catching up on fun reading or exploring a new museum or landmark.
Don’t Leave Anything to the Last Minute
While it may be tempting, leaving everything on your agenda to the final day of your holiday break is one of the worst things you can do. It can be stressful and overwhelming for students to work down to the wire, so it’s best to pencil in a few hours each day in order to work through your to-do list systematically. It’s also easier to produce quality work and really focus on each item when you aren’t leaving everything to the last minute and worrying about simply getting it done.
The holidays are a great time for students to relax and recharge, but it’s important to remain focused on your college preparation goals. If you are looking for personalized guidance throughout your academic journey, get in touch with our team of experts today.