With holidays and winter break approaching, this is always an exciting time of year. However, it can also be incredibly stressful for students wrapping up finals and those juniors and seniors preparing for either standardized tests or college applications. And, if you make the mistake of enjoying the break a little too much, winter break can be very detrimental on your long-term goal of getting into your dream college. So, with that in mind, we thought we’d give you some advice on managing your study and college application time over the break so that your break does not cause a headache when you return to normalcy!
First off, keep in mind that you have winter break for a reason beyond being able to enjoy holidays and visit with your family. Your body and mind need some occasional repose to help you recover from the rigors of your life. That is, you need to relax a little so that you come back to school ready to recommit and focus for the rest of the year. Winter break is great for relaxation, so make sure to do plenty of that.
That being said, however, there is such a thing as too much relaxation, and your brain can ossify from disuse. You don’t want your brain to forget everything you’ve learned thus far, as that would mean you’d have to re-learn everything in January, effectively costing you two months of prep time. So, take a few days off from strenuous work, but make sure to plan on being sedulous later in the break. If you’re a junior preparing for the SAT or ACT, keep working on small things on a daily basis—look through vocabulary cards every night, do some difficult reading—then, later in the week, sit down and do a full-length practice exam. Take advantage of the fact that you don’t have to go to school so that you actually have a four-hour chunk of time totally free to study. (It sounds less than ideal, we know, but it has to be done at some point, so you may as well do it when you don’t have anything else on your plate!) If you’re a high school senior, you know that college applications are due right after 2013 begins, so spend some time polishing off those essays (if they’re not already done) and filling out more applications. You have time to focus on yourself and your goals, so take advantage of that opportunity.
And if you’re traveling somewhere, keep in mind that long car rides or flights are excellent opportunities to get work done. They are not ideal study environments, admittedly, but they do have one major advantage over your own house: They are free of tempting distractions such as television and the internet.
The important thing is to be productive over the break any way that you can. Enjoy yourself, too, though!
These Key SAT Words are Expertly Identified by Sentia Tutors
Detrimental: tending to cause harm
Repose: a state of rest or tranquility