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How to Make the Most of Thanksgiving Break

See those ads for Black Friday sales? Feel that drop in temperature? The holiday season is upon us, and kicking things off next week will be Thanksgiving. In celebration of the holiday, many students will not have classes all week, allowing for rest and relaxation. Of course, a whole week off may seem like a week too much. Other than seeing family members, what else will you do? How can you spend this free time without making yourself too overwhelmed? Here are some ways to make the most of your Thanksgiving break:

1) Catch up on classwork.

Maybe you haven’t been keeping up with George Orwell’s 1984, or maybe the last time you cracked open the APUSH book was during the Jamestown era. Whatever your situation, think about the classes that you’ve slacked on and get up to speed on them. You may not have time to read ten chapters in your history textbook or all of 1984, but you should try to understand the main concepts that you've let slip by. And, if you are caught up (good for you!), it never hurts to review.

2) Really buckle down and polish your college application materials.

Now you have a whole week and two weekends to make your college application the best that it can be. Don’t squander this opportunity to meet college application deadlines on November 30 and December 1. There is no more school getting in your way, and sure, family members are going to be around, but use your relatives as resources. Have them proofread your college admission essays and resumes. Have them help you brainstorm topics. Make this Thanksgiving the best thing that has happened to your admission applications.

3) Try to get a headstart on the last month of the semester.

The end of the semester comes shortly after Thanksgiving, so why not remove a bit of stress by getting a headstart so you can truly enjoy winter break? You don’t necessarily need to go crazy, but reviewing the schedules for your classes and even previewing the materials can help give you extra time for any unexpected events that happen in the weeks leading up to the end of the semester. And, let’s say nothing does happen, now you have some free time to go Christmas shopping. That’s a good thing, right?

4) Do a few things each day, not everything at once.

Whatever you do, don’t go crazy and spend all of the Sunday before school starts cramming in as many academic activities as possible. You have nine (9) days off. That's a lot. You can easily spend a few hours each day doing some work. Plus, you will produce better work by spreading out the load. A lot of people don’t even start their days while on break until sometime after 10AM. Why not get ahead and use 8-10AM as a time for studies? Is that a crazy idea? It just might be.

5) Actually rest.

It is a break after all. Treat it like one! You probably don’t go to bed until really early in the morning after doing homework and filling out applications during the school year anyway. This is the time to re-boot your brain. Cherish this week. Cherish it so much.

6) Be thankful.

Think about your teachers, your parents, your counselors, your friends, and anyone else who has helped you this school year. And if you can, thank them. Obviously you put in a lot of hard work to be a good student, but, admit it, you can’t do everything on your own. That’s normal. It’s called being human. Be grateful that they are in your life.

No matter what you decide to do over your Thanksgiving break, remember one key thing: relax! You work hard for most of the year, so it's okay to make some time for yourself. And, of course, don't forget to get a warm slice of pie.

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