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What to do on College Apps During Christmas Break

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It’s easy to feel the stress of trying to balance college applications with time for family and friends during the holidays.

Here are three tips to help you navigate:

1. Plan specific time for working on your applications.

Set aside time during your break when you will commit to working on applying to college and for financial aid. That way, you won’t procrastinate and you can enjoy the time that you are not working without feeling guilty about any looming deadlines. Planning ahead will ensure that you do not wait until the end of your break when you will be rushed for time. Tell your friends and family when you will be unavailable so they can avoid planning events during your work time. And, they can help by checking in to make sure that you were working when you said that you would. It can often be easier to follow through with writing that college essay or filling out forms if you know that someone is watching you!

2. Use time with friends and family to your benefit – or leave the house.

You must decide the best way to be productive. Some family members will be happy to brainstorm ideas or proofread essays while others will be a distraction. If you need to, head to the library or a favorite coffee spot to work on applications.

3. Stay organized.

Nothing creates panic like realizing you needed to complete a form the day before it is due. By carefully tracking deadlines, you can make a plan and then relax. Time management will allow you to be strategic about your time, so make sure that you know exactly what you must do to apply to your specific colleges and scholarships. There are lots of online tools to help you keep on top of dates and deadlines.

Your winter break is a great time to finish up your college applications, but you can also have fun if you follow these tips. Good luck!

[Want more tips on how to survive the holidays? Here's how to avoid the holiday "college conversation".]

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