College Planning: 10 Ways to Stay Focused Over the Holidays

Daylight savings has come and gone. The days are getting shorter and Halloween candy supplies are quickly dwindling. This can only mean one thing – the holiday season is just around the bend. For the vast majority of students,  the holidays can’t come soon enough. They are a welcome respite from our day-to-day responsibilities and an opportunity to celebrate and indulge. In the rush to embrace the season, the desire to ignore or postpone our more mundane tasks is pretty great. However, we encourage you to fight the urge to completely drop everything (even if you’re in the grip of a massive food coma). After all, you don’t want to greet the new year feeling like you’re already behind the curve.

Here’s a “Top 10” list for how to stay productive and focused while maintaining your holiday cheer:

  1. Make a list of all upcoming, post-vacation deadlines. (Think SAT/ACT registration dates or college application deadlines.)
  2. Be proactive and tackle one assignment/project every day.
  3. Stay well rested.
  4. Don’t attempt to do detail-oriented work in the midst of chaotic holiday preparations.
  5. Host a combo cookie baking (tree trimming, etc.)/SAT practice (college app, homework, etc.) party.
  6. Reflect on your goals and craft a list of New Year’s resolutions.
  7. Ask your relatives to conduct mock college admissions interviews with you.
  8. Don’t leave all of your work until the evening before school resumes.
  9. Don't over-extend yourself; you don't have to say yes to every social invite. However...
  10. You should definitely set aside time to relax and have fun. It is a celebratory season after all. And everyone benefits from opportunities to recharge.

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The holiday season is obviously a great time to kick back and enjoy the company of loved ones. We certainly don’t condemn taking a moment to swap stuffing recipes with your aunt, go caroling with your best friend or play tackle football with your grandfather. However, we just caution that you try and strike a balance between work and play. After all, holiday spirit alone won’t get those college applications completed.

Happy holidays!

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2 Responses to “College Planning: 10 Ways to Stay Focused Over the Holidays”

  1. This is a quality list! I have always noticed my kids tend to slack off during the holiday break, then the day before school starts back up again, they try to cram everything in!! If only I could convince them to follow this list!@

  2. Hugh Grigg
    at #

    I would add another tip to this list. If you’re finding it hard to motivate yourself to work during the holidays, try just aiming to do 5 minutes of work. Just do one small task. You may find that keeping the goal very easy like this gets you going, and after that you actually find you’re willing to continue and get some work done.

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