No matter where you are in your college search process, there’s something about stretches of time like the upcoming holiday break that can either a) make you feel like you should be doing something (anything!) to keep your college search moving or b) make you want to do nothing but binge shows on Netflix and eat cookies.
Never fear. This week’s blog post is written to help you make progress on your college search over the break so that you can sit back and enjoy your holidays guilt-free.
If you’re a senior, scheduling visits, finalizing your applications, submitting your FAFSA, and researching and applying for scholarships should be at the top of your to-do list. If you have already completed these tasks, good job! Schedule a second visit to your top choice(s) and most importantly, take some time to rest and enjoy your holiday break.
If you do still have applications or other tasks to complete, this blog post can help walk you through a checklist. Applying to college can be overwhelming and holidays should be about rest, so try not to overdo it and stress yourself out. Accomplish one or two big tasks each day or complete several similar tasks in batches, that way you can minimize burnout and maximize productivity.
Pay close attention to application deadlines and be sure to mark them on your calendar. And remember, one of the best ways to determine fit is through campus visits – so be sure to get those on the calendar as well if you haven’t already.
If you’re a junior, now is the time to start (or continue) your research. Make a list of schools you’re interested in and check out their websites and social media. You can also ask your parents, family members, and teachers about their college experiences to see if their choices might be of interest to you. If you’re not sure where to start with a list, take a college selection assessment at cfnc.org or collegeboard.org, or talk with your college counselor.
Also, make plans to attend a college fair near you in the spring (many of them have gone virtual, which may work in your favor if you’re considering schools that are out-of-state!) Check out nacacnet.org for details on upcoming college fairs.
If you’ve already made good headway on forming a list of your college choices, start narrowing it down by scheduling visits or signing up for open houses (many of which are virtual, making it easier for you to attend!)
For more tips on moving your college search forward during the holiday break as a junior, check out this blog post.
Bottom line: by taking some time out from your holiday fun to make progress on your college search, you’ll enjoy your well-deserved break even more. And mental health can play a role in the college decision process, so taking time to relax and connect with loved ones is important.
Happy Holidays from Meredith College!