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7 Ways to Use Diwali Vacations to Boost Your Study Abroad Plans

Posted on Jul 14, 2018
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diwali vacation

Picture this. You have a vacation of about two weeks for Diwali, as your school closes for the holiday season. You have tons of work to catch up with – homework, project, hobby classes – and you have lined them all up to fulfill during the vacations. Since your exams will commence post vacations, you have studies to tackle too.

As Diwali approaches, the festivities, fun, and socializing take over. Parties, movies, and picnics take precedence. The nagging feeling of overdoing the holiday merriment dampens your joy a bit, but not enough for you to take the bull by its horns. And before you realize, the vacation is over. Parties are done with. People have gone back to their routine. And you are panic stricken about the pile of work left untouched. Sounds familiar?

You are not alone. Many students have faced the problem of ‘vacation paralysis.’ A common reason why talented students fail to make it to the college of their dreams is because they did not act when the time was ripe. Does that remind you of Aesop’s hare and the tortoise fable?

Immerse Yourself into the Culture and Festival Fervour

Diwali is a great occasion to absorb the culture, and participate in the festivities. It is important to be a part of family gatherings, social do’s, and public programs. Festivals give you an opportunity to celebrate your tradition, your lineage, and your ancient history. They make us who we are. You carry a part of this heritage with you wherever you go. When you go abroad for higher studies, you become the ambassador of Indian culture. So, while you delicately balance your work and study priorities, don’t relegate Diwali as an unimportant aspect of your life.

If you plan to pursue higher education in a top ranking school abroad, you will need to plan ahead, and stay committed to your plans. If you are committed to the dream of going abroad, and can sustain your commitment, you will certainly succeed in your mission. Remember, success kisses the one who has the ability to sustain. Here are 7 non-academic ways to utilize your Diwali vacations and bolster your study abroad plans.

1. Take your standardized tests.

Ideally, you should be done with the tests, before you even start your application.  If you plan to go abroad soon, now is a good time to attempt your SAT, GRE, or GMAT, depending on what course you wish to pursue. Prepare with the help of mock tests, or quiz templates to familiarize yourself with the test. Study the test pattern thoroughly, as these tests are unlike what you have encountered in your school or college education.

2. Dig deeper into extracurricular activities.

If you haven’t already, start building a robust extracurricular profile. Most colleges prefer to take in students with a well-rounded personality, rather than students who are skewed towards academic brilliance. So, don’t give up on your musical, sports, or writing talents. These attributes will help you showcase yourself as an ideal candidate.

3. Get a short internship.

Internships are a fun way to learn about work life. Take up an internship position at a company to learn the ways of the corporate world. If you have a specific career you are looking to pursue post education, or any specific subjects you would like to study, a part-time or full-time internship at a related company or organization will not only help you explore, but will also help you cement your interest in this sector.

4. Scour college websites.

Learn more about your target school’s curriculum, pedagogy and academic rigor. It is important to know what is in store for you at your college of your choice. Does the academic program suit your need? Will you get to learn from top professors? Read student testimonials, industry analysis, or any information that you can gather about the college of your choice.

5. Shadow people.

You may have been positively influenced by a role model, a friend, or relative, who has mentored you into following a career path. Take this opportunity of Diwali vacations to get to know your role model well. Ask if you can join them at work so you learn a thing or two by watching them. Shadowing influential people helps you pick up important traits and lessons that will be valuable for life. I have seen many students transformed after they chose to shadow their role models. By watching and learning, you shape your own value systems and work ethics too.

6. Streamline your social media presence.

Social media can help you enhance your story and make your application credible. If you have not been diligent on what you post on social media, use your vacation to sweep clean of all the unwanted stories that can potentially damage your admission chances. Build a strong case for yourself, as you streamline your social media presence and pitch yourself as a worthy candidate.

7. Read! Read! Read!

Reading is a good way to absorb. Don’t restrict your choice of genre, or author. The more you open your mind to new books, the richer your experience will be. See the world through the eyes of eminent writers, and you will gain valuable lessons from them. Join a library or spend time at book clubs to build your knowledge about books.