6 Ways to Optimize Your Fall Break

Many students across the US are lucky enough to have Fall break. And it may not be that long, but those few days off just before finals season begins can give you the perfect opportunity to get some things done for college! While you may want to take some time for yourself and your family, the few days you’re granted can be a blessing during an extremely busy time of your senior year of high school.

Here are some tips on what you can do for fall break that will help you better prepare for college!

What to do for Fall Break

1. Study for Your Last ACT or SAT

If you’re applying for a college under Regular Decision or Regular Action, the final opportunity for your ACT or SAT is fast approaching. If you still have that test date ahead of you, it’s important to get as much studying in as you can – especially if you’re aiming for a higher grade.

Consider taking a practice test on one of your fall break days. You should also be using this opportunity to review your weaknesses and refresh your strengths as test day will be here before you know it!

2. Bounce College Ideas off Family Members

It’s very likely that your family members will want to talk and collaborate with you about where you will end up going to college. While you don’t want to talk the entire day about your college plans or thoughts, fall break is actually a great opportunity to get some input from people you love and value.

You could ask your family members about essay topics, their thoughts on your intended major, or their opinions of the colleges you plan to apply to. They may just come up with the perfect essay topic you didn’t think of or a school that would make a good addition to your college application list. Many will give you encouragement for your goals!

3. Ask Family Members for College Tips

Family members can also be a great resource for reviewing/checking your college application. They can also give you tips on what to expect when attending if they went to college themselves. Extra bonus points if they went to a school you’re applying to. They may have valuable insight into the application process (though it may have changed since they went to college), campus facilities, and professors.

Family may also have additional advice for completing your college coursework and taking advantage of the next four years of your life!

4. Check off Some Application To-Do List Items

Fall break isn’t long, so optimizing it is a must. It can be a great time to focus on your college essay, for instance. However, if you have a busy schedule with family over your break, you’re traveling, or your parents are asking you to help around the house, your attention may be a bit too divided for your essay.

If that is the case, just take what time you get to check off those smaller to-do items. You could:

  • complete college application forms
  • jot down notes for your essay
  • research scholarships
  • write out your list of activities and accomplishments, or some other little job you need to finish in the coming months.

Of course, if you get an opportunity to devote more time to your college application, you can absolutely target those longer tasks like your college essay. While your college application may not be due until January 1st, you don’t want to wait until winter break to work on it. By getting some items out of the way during your break

5. Consider Looking for a Part Time Job for Winter Break

With winter break around the corner, Fall break may just be a great time to look for a part-time job to make some extra cash over the holidays. A job not only keeps you busy but makes you extra money as well (and let’s face it, who doesn’t like that). Plus, a job looks GREAT on your college application.

6. Take Some Time for You (and Your Family)

Of course, your fall break shouldn’t be all work and no play! Make sure to take some time for yourself and your family and friends during your time away from school. And you can decide what that looks like! It may be some time playing video games, reading your book, or heading to the movies with your friends.

When the fall break arrives, you’re already 2 to 3 months done with your senior year of high school! And you only have just over a month for regular decision applications. While you definitely should take out time for you and your loved ones, be sure to tackle some of your college applications to-do lists so you’re not scrambling to complete the work over your winter break.


Do you have your final ACT or SAT coming up? Do you know what grades you should be aiming for to get into your dream school? Find out by using College Match and see how you stack up against other students. 

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