ic S/general/checkmark circled Thanks for subscribing! Be on the lookout for our next newsletter.
ic S/general/checkmark circled
Saved to Favorites. View my Colleges
Articles / Applying to College / 3 Ways Juniors Can Prep for College Over Spring Break

3 Ways Juniors Can Prep for College Over Spring Break

Rob Franek
Written by Rob Franek | March 5, 2020
3 Ways Juniors Can Prep for College Over Spring Break

Adrian Swancar/Unsplash

Many students find junior year of high school to be their busiest. Perhaps it's because they're preparing for more standardized tests than usual — APs, SATs, ACTs and a whole bunch of other alphabet soup. Maybe it's because their coursework has just gotten more complex, or they've crammed in an extra class or club. If you're in this boat, you're probably looking forward to the rest and relaxation of your week-long spring break, and I don't want to stand in your way! I will, however, recommend these three low-stress things you can do to help prep for college.

Take a College Road Trip

When you think of a spring break vacation, you probably picture yourself lounging on a sandy beach with the water nearby. Or maybe you're more of a mountain lover and want to spend that time off hiking somewhere scenic. Whatever the case, I'm sure any vacation plans you envision for yourself don't include visiting colleges. This is a time away from school, so why would you spend it visiting one?

I don't blame you for wanting to spend your spring break somewhere fun, and I in no way suggest putting any other plans on hold. What I do suggest is researching your final destination to see if any schools you're considering are within a reasonable distance. If they are, consider making a detour or a pit stop. When it comes to gauging your level of comfort on campus, nothing is quite as effective as visiting it in person, and this will give you the chance to talk with students who are currently attending the school and to visit the facilities so you can see what they have to offer firsthand.

Brainstorm Your Essays

Your application essays are a great opportunity for self-reflection, and what better time to reflect than during a break from school, when you'll likely have more time to spend on your own? You don't have to set aside all of your time, but you should at least spend a little time brainstorming what you'd like to write about once you're back in work mode. What personality traits do you want to convey? How about aspects of your background, work or extracurricular experiences, or interests?

The time you set aside now can help alleviate a lot of stress later on. You can only benefit from the pre-work you do of creating an outline or a few bullet points. (And, hey, if you feel up to writing the whole thing now, your future self certainly won't complain!)

Try Something New

Spring break is the prime opportunity to broaden your horizons. And I don't mean sitting back, relaxing and bingeing a few seasons of a TV show. This is your opportunity to try something new that can add depth to your college applications. Colleges look to things like extracurriculars, volunteer experience and employment to get a sense of your personality. Take this chance to better showcase how you spend your time outside of school!

You're in a rare position where your workdays are free, so consider trying to set up a time in which you can shadow a professional at their job. For instance, if you've got your heart set on a career in medicine, you might benefit from seeing firsthand what a nurse does throughout a shift. Alternatively, this might be a great opportunity to give back to the community — perhaps there's a local charity or organization that could benefit from a few of your spring break hours. Whatever the case, take the gift of free time and put it to good use.

Written by

Rob Franek

Rob Franek

College Admissions and Test Prep Expert

More on Applying to College

See all

Letter of Continued Interest: What is it, What Should You Include, When Should You Send One?

Have you been waitlisted or deferred by a college you wish to attend? If so, you are not alone. Thousands of college hopefuls are…


The Architecture Portfolio That Got Me Into My Dream School

The portfolio is one of the most critical aspects of your application when applying to architecture school, but there is a limite…


How to Get More Out of Your College Tours

College tours are schools’ best opportunity to convince potential students that they’ve got everything you could ever want to suc…


UChicago Admissions Q&A: ED/EA Ask Me Anything Recap

Last week, we were privileged to hear from a UChicago admissions director in an Ask Me Anything forum event to get exclusive tips…


NYU Early Decision Ask Me Anything Q&A Recap

This month we were able to hear from New York University admissions representatives in an exclusive Ask Me Anything event hosted …

Need Help Paying for College?
VIew Offers