Wrap up the season on a positive note


A well-deserved winter break is just around the corner. And, this could be the perfect time to knock off some things on your college to-do list. We know what you’re thinking already. “But I need a break!” And, you’re right. That’s why we created this list of activities for the end of the season that are not only fun, but will also look great on a college application.

Start a drive

During the holiday season, many families and students struggle to make ends meet. Take this opportunity to organize a drive at your school, church, or partner with a local business. You can collect coats and blankets for the homeless, non-perishable items for local food banks, or toys for needy children. Not only will you be able to highlight your leadership skills from organizing and implementing the project, but you will also walk away with the good feeling of helping your community. (Bring it on down to Homelessville!)


If starting your own project seems a bit intimidating, consider volunteering your time at a local charity instead. Organizations like The Salvation Army, as well as area shelters and food banks, are desperate for help during the holidays. You can rack up some serious hours sorting toys, delivering meals, and working at charitable events. Most of the work is fun and the hours you accumulate could lead to scholarship opportunities. It’s also a great way to meet people who may be able to open doors for future internships or provide letters of recommendation down the line.


Speaking of internships, now may be a good time to dust off that suit and tie and test drive a potential career choice. Some business owners look for extra help during the last few weeks of the year, so you may be able to snag either a paid or unpaid internship with them. You can also use this time to shadow someone who holds a position within your desired college major, as it may give you a better idea of what is expected on a day-to-day basis. Don’t forget to include the experience on your résumé and college applications.

Apply for scholarships

Is the cost of the holidays freaking you out yet? You know what else is expensive? College. Start searching for ways to earn free money by applying for scholarships. Although many programs do have deadlines between January and May, there are plenty of awards with deadlines in December (including our $10,000 Get Up & Go scholarship). Without class assignments and homework deadlines looming, you may find it easier to crank out those scholarship essays during the break and hopefully increase your chances of winning a few awards. It’s a good idea to ask your family to review your applications. So while you’re celebrating the season with family and friends, set yourself up to look great for college, too. In fact, why not invite your friends along on a volunteer day. The more, the merrier!

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