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Leveraging Your Summer



A blink, a blip, a blur – the time between the end of one school year and the beginning of the next shrinks each year, especially if you're a fall athlete with practices starting earlier than classes. Taking advantage of your time away from school to lean into something familiar or new with space to do the things that matter to you may have the right makings of balance, feeding your curiosity and being in charge. However, hanging out with friends, getting more sleep, landing a job, engaging in your community, or prepping for AP or summer courses requires looking at your calendar to map out how you want to spend your time.

 

If you are a soon-to-be senior, you will most likely write essays and fine-tune applications in the fall. Setting a goal to recalibrate the demands on your time during the fall semester by leveraging summer is a strategy worth pursuing. Remember, however, that this will require some thought and an intentional plan so you have a healthy mix of downtime and ways to re-energize and enjoy summertime.

 

Here are four tips to help you maximize your summer.

1.     Assess how many weeks are actually available during your summer break for a job, volunteer activity, class, fabulous trip, and college tasks. For example, your summer break may be nine weeks, but if you're traveling, practicing, or competing in sports tournaments/matches/meets before school begins in the fall, you will want to account for that time. So, where it may look like you have nine weeks, you may, in fact, have six solid weeks of less impacted time.

2.     Assess and allocate your free time. Creating dedicated time and space doesn't mean you will turn into a bean counter or lose your spontaneity. However, it does allow you to develop clear blocks of time where you are doing precisely what you want or need to do.

3.     Utilize a whiteboard, calendar, or app to visualize your time. Holding on to your schedule in your head works most of the time, but seeing where and how you spend it will help you decide whether to recalibrate, readjust, or stick with your daily/weekly schedule if it's working.

4.     Consider adjusting your schedule to support your priorities and goals. There is only one of you, and even if you could clone yourself with the idea of getting everything done or keeping all the balls up in the air, you only get to experience one thing at a time. Multi-tasking is a myth, and people can only perform tasks serially. Could you take one thing off your schedule, reduce a commitment by a few hours, shift daily obligations, or reprioritize to accomplish the most important things to you? Think about the right balance for you and if something is a "have to" or "want to."

 

Ultimately, you decide what works for your schedule, but it may require practice and adjustment to get it where you want it to be. Proactively managing your time is completely possible; there is no better time to make that happen than today.


 

Looking for tips and inspiration to help you start your college journey? dream.search.apply. A Field Guide for an Inspired College Journey packed with insights and resources to help you navigate your college path, is now available to order online and coming soon to your local bookstore.


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Have more questions or looking for more support? Email me at dane@collegeu.solutions 

 

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