Launch Global Education
Sparks blog: Holiday breaks–more than sleep?

by Mr. Michael Wagner

For many students, the end of the calendar year is the end of the first semester, the halfway point of the school year. While schools all have their own calendars, there is one thing that most school share and that is a holiday break. Whether the break is just a few days or a few weeks, there are a series of days without school. What does that mean for students? For many, the immediate response is “awesome, more time to sleep.” As much as I believe that young adults should use this time to rest up and get prepared for the second half of the school year, I am also a HUGE proponent of students taking advantage of this valuable time. The normal interruptions of daily school life are gone, so it provides the perfect opportunity to be productive in preparation for the college application process.

During the break?

One of the ways you can take advantage of this valuable time is to take credentialing or certification classes. It is the perfect time for students to take a class that interests them, be it a topic that they want to learn more about or something completely random. Registering for these types of classes is easy; they have become remarkably accessible, offering students path to explore their interests, improve their skill sets, and bolster their college resumes.

December calendar

Strengthening your applications

With the college application landscape rapidly changing, taking a credentialing class is one way to significantly strengthen a college application. Admissions officers recognize the value of candidates who proactively seek to expand their knowledge and expertise beyond the traditional classroom environment and academic curriculum. Earning a recognized certification not only demonstrates a commitment to personal and professional development but it also signals a practical application of skills that can contribute to academic success and future career goals. Including multiple relevant certifications in a college application highlights a candidate's dedication to continuous learning, adaptability, and a proactive approach to skill acquisition, factors that can set an applicant apart in a competitive admissions process.

Student at computer

I realize that many students could see me as the Scrooge of holiday break by suggesting taking classes. However, holiday breaks present the ideal moment for students to be proactive in their college application preparation. The ease of access to credentialing courses provides the opportunity for students to develop specific knowledge and academic skills. Earning recognized certifications displays to college admissions representatives a commitment to continuous learning and help sets applicants apart in the competitive admissions selection process.

Mr. Michael J. Wagner

Michael Wagner, MAED is a founder and the Knowledge Pilot for Launch Education.  Mr. Mike has assisted hundreds of students around the world on their college pathways. Mike counsels students in Maryland, California, and around the world.