Last Updated On: March 20th, 2015

Spring break is right around the corner, and students are eagerly anticipating a week or two off from school. While this vacation can be a well-deserved chance for some R&R, it is also a wonderful opportunity for college-bound students to boost their academic resumes and put themselves in the right frame of mind.

Here are a couple of ideas for high school students:



12th graders: A lot of students look forward a fun-packed spring break trip. While we all need some time to unwind, it is important to note that college may rescind a student’s acceptance if their grades drop significantly during senior year.  With finals only a short time away, seniors can take this time to combat the “senioritis” pandemic that seems to afflict most 12th grade students.

Acceptance letters should be arriving around this time. Students who have not committed to an early decision or early action school can take this time to thoroughly research the universities they were accepted into so that they can make a well-informed decision.

10th and 11th graders: Students in the 10th and 11th grade can sometimes suffer from a lack of motivation when it comes to their academics.  These are the years in which most students first encounter AP classes and the associated workload. The idea of college and life after high school can seem so abstract that students can stop giving school their full effort  when placed under a large amount of pressure. A great way to combat this ennui is to visit a few colleges that the student is considering . Going on a college campus tour and visiting the surrounding area will give students the chance to learn about the schools and see what college life is all about. Seeing the campus will also make students’ goals more tangible, which can provide a more concrete basis for their motivation.

If a long distance tour is not possible, there is a wide variety of colleges within a couple hours of Los Angeles that can at least give students an idea of what they are striving for (e.g. UCLA, USC, Harvey Mudd, Pomona). Once finalizing which schools to visit, schedule a tour with the school, make sure to speak with an admissions counselor, and/or fill out a visitors card. If students simply walk around the school without documenting their interaction with the college, the university will not have any way of remembering that they took the time to visit.  Demonstrating students’ interest in the school by visiting the campus or applying early can potentially give them a slight advantage when it comes to the admissions process.

Another great option for students would be to start preparing for their college admissions test, whether it’s the ACT or SAT.  These exams can be intimidating for students who have not seen them before, so taking a week to begin preparing for the exam can take a lot of the mystery and stress out of the equation. It’s also a great time to start preparing since there will be a minimal amount of schoolwork during spring break.

9th and 10th graders: Colleges prefer well-rounded students who participate in extracurricular activities.  A lot of students struggle to find something that they are passionate about and end up either not doing anything or doing something commonplace, such as volunteering at a local hospital. While volunteering at a hospital is better than not doing anything, colleges tend to be more interested in students who stand out from the crowd and are able to distinguish themselves from their peers in their extra-curricular activities.  Students can take the time to visit different organizations, inquire about internships and volunteer availability, or even create their own extra-curricular activity such as creating and successfully executing a fundraising campaign!

For students whose grades are not up to par, spring break is a perfect opportunity to review previous sections that they may have struggled with or to start preparing for their finals. Students can opt to study on their own or with a private tutor to help them catch up to speed.  For a free consultation, click here, or call 866.60.TUTOR to be matched with your personal LA Tutor today!

Eric Kim

Author Eric Kim

Eric is the Program Director at LA Tutors and has over twenty years experience as a private tutor. He has served as an academic counselor, college counselor to hundreds of students and now uses his experience across all areas of academia to help develop new curricula and programs designed to help students achieve their individual goals.

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