Winter break is a cherished time for high school students to unwind, recharge and create lasting memories. Rather than succumbing to the temptation of endless Netflix binges, however, there are numerous meaningful and recommended ways for students to spend their winter break, ensuring a balance between relaxation and productivity.

1. Explore Volunteer Opportunities

Consider giving back to the community by volunteering at local charities or organizing a community service project. This not only fosters a sense of responsibility but also provides a valuable perspective on the needs of others.

2. Dive into a Personal Project

Whether it’s starting a blog, learning a new instrument or delving into a creative writing endeavor, winter break is the perfect time for personal growth. Pursue a passion project that aligns with your interests and aspirations.

3. Internships and Job Shadowing

Take advantage of the break to gain real-world experience through internships or job shadowing opportunities. This hands-on experience can provide valuable insights into potential career paths and help you build a network within your chosen industry.

4. Cultivate a Reading Habit

Winter break is an ideal time to catch up on reading for pleasure. Select books that spark your curiosity or explore genres you haven’t explored before. Reading enhances critical thinking skills and broadens your perspective.

5. Set Academic Goals

Use the break to get a head start on upcoming coursework, prepare for standardized tests or explore advanced topics of interest. Setting academic goals can help you stay focused and motivated for the challenges ahead.

By embracing these activities, high school students can make the most of their winter break, creating a balance between relaxation and personal development. These experiences not only contribute to personal growth but also strengthen college applications by showcasing a commitment to learning and community engagement.

About the author
Marc Zawel

As author of Untangling the Ivy League, Marc literally wrote the book on gaining admission to highly selective colleges. He earned a BA from Cornell University – where he met AcceptU’s co-founder – and an MBA from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. At UNC, Marc chaired the admissions advisory board; he has also conducted alumni interviews for Cornell for more than fifteen years.

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