Just Leave Me Alone It’s Winter Break!

Elaine Pelz Art School, Getting Into College, High School, Parent/Educator, Student Resources, Visual Arts, Visual Arts

A Winter Break To-Do List for High School Visual Artists.

Here’s a December dilemma: Winter break is just around the corner. That long-awaited time to relax is almost here. Ideally you can sleep in, hang out with friends, spend time shopping, or just chill to Adele’s latest. Time for a well deserved respite from your responsibilities, right? Yes, and no. You deserve a break, no doubt. But I’d also suggest using your time wisely to strategize, plan and take action towards your artistic future in college.

Winter activities and deadlines will vary depending upon your current grade in high school. Here are some tips to help keep you focused:

For Seniors

1. January application deadlines are looming. Now is the time to double-check that your applications have been submitted and received by each college. Reference letters submitted? Check. Transcripts received? Check. If you find discrepancies, reach out to your guidance counselor or the college’s representative to clear things up.
2. Wrap up your essays.
3. Finalize your portfolio and load your selections into SlideRoom.
4. Have you interviewed yet? Some schools offer interviews over winter break. Consider squeezing one into your schedule. You won’t want to miss the opportunity to make a complete impression if you can.

You are coming down the application home stretch now, so stay focused and know you are almost at the finish line!

For Juniors

1. Keep creating! Winter break is a great time to focus on your growing portfolio.
2. Have a heart-to-heart talk with loved ones. The winter break downtime provides opportunities to get closer to what makes you tick. Honest conversations with family and friends will help you hone in on what’s important to you. Contemplate the type of learning environment where you will thrive and want to live during your college years.
3. Be realistic. College costs are staggering. If financial aid is a necessity, then it must be part of your college considerations. Being realistic now will help eliminate idealistic expectations and crushing disappointment down the road. Begin your long list of potential colleges and see what financial aid they offer.
4. While you’re at it, don’t forget to register for the last offerings of the current SAT or the new SAT, which will debut in March 2016.

For Underclassmen

Its not too early to begin considering what your college future will look like. Your best preparation is to keep drawing, creating and making; following wherever your art takes you. Balance it out with lots of reading to develop your skills and vocabulary for those pesky PSAT and SAT tests.

Campus Visits

Juniors and underclassmen can all benefit from campus visits. Most tours and information sessions are unavailable this time of year, but it doesn’t hurt to swing by a college or two if holiday travel happens to take you nearby. Strolling across campus and checking out the local neighborhood can still influence future decisions. You may even bump into a professor and get a chance for a little one-on-one insight.

Applications for Summer Programs

Finally, even though it’s winter, you can start thinking about summer art programs. Spend some time researching programs on-line, look into financial aid and gather application requirements. Sign-ups on college websites will be here before you know it.

Chill Out

No matter what you do towards planning your next steps for college, find time to chill and be with friends and family for some well deserved down time. Rest, rejuvenate, and have fun!

Author Elaine Pelz founded art.college.life. in 2012 as a resource for families with teens wanting to study art and design in college.

Contact Elaine at [email protected]
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Elaine Pelz
Author Elaine Pelz founded art.college.life. in 2012 as a resource for families with teens wanting to study art and design in college. art.college.life. is a culmination of Elaine’s lifelong passions for the arts and education, and her 25+ years of business, marketing, and recruitment experience. A textile designer herself, she lives in Central Ohio, but is a California girl at heart. When not soaking up new information about visual arts colleges, Elaine can be found traveling with her husband, and enjoying time with her two 20-something kids. Contact Elaine at [email protected].
Elaine Pelz