The 5 Things Students Must Finish Before the New Year

Application Strategies
December 29, 2020
With The New Year Quickly Approaching, The Last Thing High School Seniors Want To Focus On Is Last Minute School Work…

However, with a new year right around the corner, your child may have a much stronger start to their spring semester if they get their tedious work done early. Fortunately, there are a few college prep-related tasks that students can easily take care of before they officially take their holiday break.

Choosing to not procrastinate on certain tasks is a smart move because it will leave students free to enjoy their last semester of high school, and not spend it worrying about their college applications!

The Year Is Almost Over!

With every new year comes new hopes, goals, and mindsets, along with brand new opportunities for students! It’s the perfect time for students to reevaluate and begin a new year with positivity, and maybe even a brand new outlook. If your child is a senior in high school, they still have plenty to do before they officially ring in the new year, especially if they’ve actively been applying to colleges. Your child will probably be more than ready for their holiday break, and maybe even exhausted from all their hard work applying to colleges, however, it’s so important that they keep up their momentum before the New Year is officially here.

Getting last-minute tasks done and resisting procrastination before the New Year will ensure that your child will be returning to school in the spring refreshed and ready to have a great last semester. Encourage your high school senior to focus on a few key parts of the college application process that will ensure they have a better holiday break, rather than overwhelming themselves with work come January.

The 5 Things Students Need To Do Before The New Year

There are many ways your high school senior can stay ahead of the college application game before the New Year, but these are the five areas that tend to go unnoticed until the deadline has suddenly arrived. Encourage your child to use this article as a guide for navigating their college applications before their well-deserved break.


The only way for your child to keep track of their productivity is to write out everything they want to accomplish, and complete each task one by one. Whether they already know what they need to do, or need a resource like a college application timeline, having something to reference will help them keep their thoughts organized while they accomplish their New Years tasks.


After they write out all that they have to do before the New Year, encourage your child to go through their task list and cross off anything that would be extraneous work. Too many students waste time on certain aspects of the college application process that aren’t time sensitive or even necessary in the long run.

A common time-waster for students is applying to colleges that they don’t want to go to. If your child is stressed out over the number of college applications they have to finish before the New Year, this is a great time for them to reevaluate their reach, safety, and target list of colleges and take any off that they’re not excited about applying to. Applying to too many schools will only make their other college applications weaker, so make sure they know that there are ways they can make the New Year wrap-up easier on themselves.

This is another reason why writing everything down helps: encourage them to only worry about the time-sensitive things. If they have a task on their “Before New Years To-Do List” that can wait until the spring, encourage them to put it on the back burner for now.


An inevitable part of the college application process is requesting supplemental materials like school reports and letters of recommendation. Now would be a good time for students to reach out to the trusted counselors or teachers they requested materials from, and remind them to get those in before the deadline.

If your child hasn’t sent in their standardized test scores at this point, they should also make sure they log in to their College Board account and send those results to their top choice colleges. Tying up loose ends before the New Year is a great way for students to check off all their boxes so they can enjoy their break.


If anything, your high school senior will definitely want to put final touches on their college essays. The worst case scenario is that they haven’t even started their essays yet. If this is the case, your child simply needs to put some words on paper. They should start writing about something they enjoy, and then tailor it to fit the prompt later.

If they already have essay drafts completed, they should send them to counselors, teachers, and peers for them to read and give a second opinion. Having someone else take a look at your child’s essay will help them see things they didn’t see on their own, and make adjustments accordingly.


Last, but certainly not least, make sure your child is making plenty of time for themselves to rest and re-energize. Regardless of how many items they have on their task list, students can still carve out plenty of time to watch a movie, go for a walk, and hang out on a Zoom call with their friends.

Self-care is incredibly important during this season of high school, so encourage your child to do their best to combat common senior year burnout.

Ringing In The New Year The Right Way

Regardless of how much they have to do, encourage your child to chip away at their to-do list as much as they can before the New Year. The more they get done now, the better time they’ll have in their spring semester.

Encourage them to make finishing touches on their college essays and applications, as well as ensure they have everything they need in terms of supplemental materials like letters of recommendation. They should also carve out time to prevent senior year burnout; though the very act of getting most of their hard work done before the New Year will also help manage their stress come spring. And of course, you and your child should also reach out to one of WeAdmit’s professional college counselors! We’re on standby to help you finish this year strong, as well as ensure your child has everything they need to attend their dream college.



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