Winter break is a great time to for begin thinking about the college search process. Sophomores and freshmen in high school have the luxury of time. You are not under pressure to plan for college visits, or prep for SAT tests. You have time to peruse the internet and read about different colleges. It is a great time to begin familiarizing yourself with the college options out there and the college application process itself. Here are few things you can do over winter break to work on your college search process.
1. Start doing some research. There are so many college websites out there, it is hard to know where to begin. We often suggest that students begin with a simple college match survey. You can find these on CollegeBoard.org or PrincentonReview.com. Once you find some colleges that you are interested in learning more about, visit CollegeData.com. This site provides a wealth of information about size, academics and the competitiveness of the application process. Another site to check out is Unigo.com. This site can answer many questions you may have about the college application process.
2. Volunteer. Winter break is a great time to get in some volunteer hours. You may work at an animal shelter or see if you can help with a holiday program at a local hospital. Volunteering not only looks great on your college applications, but it is also a great opportunity for you to explore some different careers.
3. Begin thinking about summer. Now is the time to begin thinking about your plans for the summer. Look into possible enrichment programs or camps that will help you explore an interest.
4. Network. There are lots of gatherings during the holidays, which provide great opportunities for networking. Before you attend your next holiday event, brainstorm some questions you may have from the people you know will be there. Ask about career paths and college experiences. This is a great way to learn more about college from multiple perspectives.
5. Read. Reading is one of the best ways to improve your SAT Critical Reading score, so take some time to dive into a good book.