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How to Spend Your Spring Break!

Fri, Feb 15, 2013 @ 12:03 PM

Spring break is a great time for relaxation as well as college planning

Springtime in collegeSpring break is quickly approaching, and while lying by the beach, going on a cruise, or taking a week off to catch up on some sleep sounds tempting, this break can also be utilized for some major college preparation. Spring is an important time for high school students and students can take advantage of their vacation to plan ahead.  

Here are some ways to use spring break for college admissions prep:  

College Visits

With a week or more off from school, spring break is a great time for students to organize college visits. By picking a region and taking a little road trip, students and parents can check out a diverse range of schools to gain a better understanding of what type of college may be the best fit. Pick a city with a dense college population or with a few schools of interest, or keep it local and drive to schools close to home to check out their campuses. If there’s a school you especially have your eye on, make sure to pay them a visit and arrive with a list of questions to have answered by current students and admissions officers.  

For seniors, visiting schools as acceptances roll in can help you make your final decision. You can organize your trip with a friend or incorporate visits into a family vacation to capitalize on the time-off.  

Alternative Spring Break

By participating in an alternative spring break trip you can create a meaningful experience during your time off from school. Volunteer trips around the United States and abroad are available to high school students of all ages, and give volunteers the opportunity to build houses, tutor at schools, and aid local populations in community development.  

While one week can create significant memories, pick an organization that you would like to be continuously involved in. By developing a long term commitment with a service, you can make a larger impact and have a cause to work for year-round. Plan fundraisers, collect supplies, and assist in marketing for an organization throughout the year, and have all  your hard work culminate in a trip to the region you are helping out  

United Way and Habitat for Humanit are just two excellent examples of alternative spring break trips!    

Summer Program Planning and Applications

Spring Break is a great time to commit to college preparation, but no break compares to summer vacation. Summer is a crucial time for high school students to explore personal interests through academic and specialty programs. If you are interested in a particular academic field, find a program lasting a month or longer at a college campus that offers courses of interest, college credit, and the experience of living at a university. Long trips that focus on skills like writing, language, and the arts can also help you delve deeper into a personal interest and, eventually, showcase your passion on an application.  

Most programs require an application, and often request recommendations and transcripts. Use spring break to research opportunities and organize those materials so that by the time summer rolls around, you have some meaningful experiences lined up.  

Catch-up on Outside Reading

It may be difficult to pick up a book on your own after all of your school required reading, but taking time for independent reading has a lot of benefits in the college admissions process. Not only does reading generally expand your vocabulary and wealth of literary knowledge, it can also give you insights into topics that can be expanded upon in college application essays.  

Schools tend to look favorably upon a well-read student who explores personal interests on his or her own. Whatever your potential academic interests may be, find books, blogs, and online news resources to build upon your knowledge.  

Organize and Study for Upcoming Exams

While it is important to relax during spring break, this week is the final hiatus before the end of the school year. Finals, AP exams, and IB exams are around the corner, and this is a great time to begin organizing notes and study materials to get ahead of the game. Additionally, the first SAT date following most spring breaks is May 9th, and if you haven’t begun to prepare yet, now is definitely the time. Use your break from school to pinpoint what you need to focus on to reach your goal score.  

Quick Tip: Liven up studying by taking your materials to a quiet area outside. That way you can enjoy the spring weather while you work!    

Spring break is a milestone in the final stretch to summer vacation, so while you’re still in school mode, utilize this time to plan ahead! Whether you’re a freshman exploring summer programs to develop an academic interest, or a senior attending accepted students weekends, spring break can be both relaxing and productive!

IvyWise

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