X-mas break: free time, food, ugly sweaters, embarrassing childhood stories being told at the dinner table when your family friends’ cute son is there, secret santa, not-so-secret santa (rents) and finally…
It’s a trick many parents do; get the letter and hide it until Christmas, then put it under the tree as if Santa is rewarding your hard work at school. My parents did that to me on my birthday; with the great advantage (!) of being born on New Year’s Eve, I opened my letter on the last day of the year. Hope was the last one; I knew then that the clock was ticking and I had to make a decision soon while my best friend was still considering applying to Drexel. I rushed it because I don’t deal with uncertainties very well.
However, this doesn’t mean that you should be like me. Actually don’t be like me because you don’t want to find yourself wondering what is going to happen to you after next Wednesday, the day you have 3 finals on the same day… Good God.
Anywho, for those who left doing extracurriculars or writing the essays to the last minute, I have a few suggestions that will glorify their applications. Here are the 5 ways that you can fancy up your application without doing school work:
- Volunteer at the local soup kitchen. First of all, it is a very humbling experience. Next time you see someone without a home, on the street, you know that it is not just a poor person but that is actually a person. They deserve your attention, affection and understanding as much as anyone else does. Hearing stories on how they ended up there will inspire you to be a better person and will let you understand that it is not a choice. The skills you develop there will reflect on your resume, on your essay and will make you stand out more as not many students choose to help out with kitchens during their breaks.
- Ask for a plane ticket to somewhere really random. Essay material. I’m telling you, nothing says “I am a problem- solver” like that story about getting lost in the largest and most complicated Medina in the world, which is in Fez.
- Don’t use technology for 48 hours straight. I tried that and it worked! I realized how much depended I was on it and it made me wonder if my friends and I would have closer relationships if we were not all pretending to be people that we are not or only show our best sides. Also I had some alone time to myself and it was absolutely amazing. That’s what I call some self- discovery.
- Spend a day without talking to anyone else but your family. I hear people regret not spending enough time with their family, frankly, that’s something I regret too. My grandfather passed away on my first week of school here and I really think I took him for granted. He was the first in our family (and one of the firsts in the whole country) who got his bachelors and masters degrees in the US. He came here through a government scholarship, on a small ship with 40 other brilliant men who are very important right now and globally known. I procrastinated on talking to him about his stories and I really wish I didn’t do that. Also, don’t underestimate those family stories, it may inspire you to write your essay.
- Do random acts of kindness and watch strangers’ reactions. This world needs more kindness than you think. When you make a stranger smile, it may change your life. In high school, I was really self- focused and all I wanted to do was to get ahead. Then one day, some random girl, at a village I was volunteering asked me why I was helping them. Big time wake up call. I was only 14 when this happened but I think it changed my life. From that on I focused on my work more than I focused getting the job done. It was incredibly rewarding, kiddo who asked me the question (she was only 7) and I both cried at the end of the summer.
There is always time for you to work on yourself, hence on your resume… Because afterall, your CV is only a reflection of who you are, right?
Merry (almost) Christmas.