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Maximize Your Time Off From School

College life can be tense and a bit stressful at times. Students who excel in college are self-disciplined and know how to manage their time. The constant managing of time and priorities does not suddenly stop when your vacation starts it's an ongoing process.

Here are 10 ways that you can maximize your time when you are off from school:

1. Review what you have learned

Although your classes may all be completed for the quarter (or the semester), it's not a bad idea to review what you've just learned over the course of many weeks. Reread your notes, papers, tests and skim through the books you've just read. Finalize the imprinting of fresh information in your mind so that you can retain what you've learned over the long term. 

2. Read ahead

If you already know what courses you will be taking in the upcoming quarter, start reading ahead. If you are going to have some time to kill, might as well get a jump start on your upcoming classes. Contact your professors and collect copies of syllabi. Purchase your materials and begin reviewing them before your class begins. 

3. Go back to your roots and reconnect with family and friends

Go home. Say hi to the family and reconnect with old friends. College isn't about severing all of your previous ties. Keep up your network and pay the people you love a visit.

4. Stick around and explore the town

Forget about going home. Stick around and explore your college town. Find new places to buy groceries and new bars to frequent. Take a mini-road trip to some nearby destination that you've always wanted to see. Take your time off of school as an opportunity to experience your surroundings.  

5. Travel

Drive cross-country or travel abroad. See the world, or a tiny piece of it. Take your new outlook on life and expose yourself to different peoples and places. Visit a destination or place of interest that you have just studied. Travel with a partner, in a group, or go venturing off on your own.

6. Get an internship

Find an internship in the field that you are studying. Supplement your classroom work with real life on-the-job training. This way when you graduate, you will already have solid academic and professional experience.

7. Lay the groundwork for future employment

Explore your career interests. Market yourself and your abilities. Try to find an organization that you want to target for employment once you've graduated. Find out what the minimum professional and educational requirements are for the specific job that you are interested in. Take measures to fulfill those requirements before you graduate.

8. Explore the course catalog and schedule of classes

Get lost in the pages of your course catalog. Map out different schedule scenarios. Find out if that class you really want to take is offered in alternate academic years, and then plan your schedule accordingly. Pick a focus in your major and consider all the courses that you'd like to take. You'll be surprised how quickly your time in school will fly by, so you need to construct a solid schedule.

9. Apply for scholarships

Find some more money. Buy a book or do Internet research. Apply for as many scholarships as you can. Each application may seem like a bit of a hassle, but the results could seriously alleviate any financial burdens you may have accrued. 

10. Just relax and take a break

Don't do a damn thing! You've spent months cramming, pulling off all-nighters, and wowing you professors with your polished intellectual abilities. You've earned a break, so enjoy it, and come back to school refreshed and ready for anything.

If you utilize your vacations properly, you will be a better student. Just remember not to stress out too much. Whether you are in school or not, you are in control of your life, so make the most of it.