What are your students doing over Christmas break? (and what should they be doing)?

Christmas break is great! It gives your students a chance to refresh and recharge for the final half of their senior or junior years. Some students choose to lounge around and binge watch TV shows and movies. Others spend a lot of time with their electronic toys playing video games or sending out social media posts. Some of the lucky ones even get taken on exotic vacations by their parents over the break. There are a number of things that students can do over the break to enhance their chances to getting into their college of choice and furthering their chances to get noticed when they apply to colleges. Here are a few tips of things they can do over their break:

  1. Volunteer: There are many worthy charities that look for volunteers over the holiday season. These include shelters that feed those less fortunate over the holidays. Your students should consider taking a few days to volunteer their time at one of the many shelters, hospitals, nursing homes, etc that would welcome the help. In addition to feeling good for what they have done this looks great on their resume and college applications.
  2. Take an online class: Instead of playing those video games, why not consider taking an online class over the break?  In addition to earning some possible credit that can go towards future college credit there are many great subjects offered that can further their knowledge.
  3. Get a job: Many small businesses see a surge in business over the holiday season. This includes restaurants and most retail stores. These companies are often looking for students to fill in the gaps and works for 3 to 4 weeks around the holiday. This can look very good on a resume and shows that a student is motivated rather than lazy.
  4. Take a college visit: Many schools are out as well during the break but if your students have the down time why not visit a college or two nearby to check out the campus and surrounding area. A quick visit can help determine whether a particular campus is going to be a fit. During the school year they (and their parents) may not have the time available but the holidays are a great time for a quick trip when both the student and mom/dad have the time available.
  5. Update that resume/bio: Now is a great time to update that resume/bio that they are going to need when they begin applying to colleges. Once school starts back homework, extracurricular activities, etc. will take up a lot of their time.