November 30, 2023

Winter Break Applications: How to Best Manage Your Time

illustration two people and large question mark

As high school students, the winter break is a critical time for those applying to college. It’s a period that can be both exciting and overwhelming, with college applications often due at the start of the new year. Effectively managing your time during this break is crucial. Here are some tips to help you balance your application process with the much-needed rest and family time.

1. Create a Schedule: Begin by listing all the colleges you plan to apply to and their respective deadlines. Once you have this list, create a schedule. Divide your time between essay writing, filling out application forms, and preparing for any last-minute standardized tests. Remember to set aside time for relaxation and family activities – it’s still a holiday!

2. Prioritize Your Applications: If you're applying to multiple colleges, prioritize your applications based on the deadlines and how much work each application requires. Focus on the colleges that you are most interested in or those with the earliest deadlines.

3. Draft Your Essays Early: Start drafting your college essays as early as possible. This gives you ample time to revise and get feedback from teachers or mentors. A well-thought-out essay can be a deciding factor in your application.

4. Ask for Recommendations Early: If you haven’t already, ask for letters of recommendation before the winter break. Teachers and counselors will appreciate the advanced notice, and it ensures you get these crucial components of your application in time.

5. Utilize Online Resources: There are numerous online resources available to help with college applications. Websites like the Common Application streamline the process for multiple colleges. Additionally, look for essay writing guides or webinars on college applications.

6. Break Tasks into Smaller Goals: Large tasks can be daunting. Break them into smaller, more manageable goals. For instance, instead of setting a goal to complete a whole application in one day, aim to finish one section or essay.

7. Avoid Procrastination: It’s easy to get distracted, especially during the holidays. Set clear goals for each day and try to stick to them. If you find yourself procrastinating, take a short break or switch to a different task.

8. Seek Feedback: Don’t hesitate to ask for feedback on your essays and application forms from family, friends, or teachers. Sometimes, a fresh pair of eyes can catch mistakes or suggest improvements.

9. Practice Self-Care: Applying to colleges can be stressful. Make sure you're taking care of yourself. Get enough sleep, eat healthily, and engage in activities that relax you.

10. Celebrate Small Victories: Finally, celebrate your small victories. Finished a draft of your essay? Take a moment to acknowledge your progress. These small celebrations can be great motivational boosts.

In conclusion, managing your time effectively during the winter break is crucial for a successful college application process. By staying organized, setting realistic goals, and taking care of your well-being, you can navigate this busy period with confidence and ease. Remember, this is just the beginning of an exciting new chapter in your life!