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Countdown to Spring Break!

Spring break is a break from school, right? Rest, relaxation, permission to be a sloth …? However (depending on a whole multitude of factors), if you completely adopt the ways of a sloth, you’ll discover a downside; having nothing to do and no schedule to keep actually saps your energy. If you want to enjoy every minute of your break, you’ll balance rest and relaxation with an ambitious to-do list! Here are five suggestions for what to include on that list:

1.      Course Planning
No matter what grade you’re in, it’s a great time to consider your class schedule for next year. Does your schedule accurately reflect your plan for the future? Are you on track for graduation, and taking advantage of every opportunity to be ready for the postsecondary options that interest you? Will you achieve Pathway Completer status as you graduate high school? This is also a great time to look at the Career and Technical Student Organizations and other extra-curricular options that support your college and career goals.

2.      Work-Based Learning (WBL)
Spring break is really an ideal time to arrange for a job shadow, information interview, or a simple visit to a workplace because it’s “business as usual” in the world of work. To set up a formal learning experience, talk to WBL staff at your school. Alternatively, you could set something up with family or friends. For example, you could volunteer at a local business just for a day, or even a part of a day. The best work-based learning experiences will result in your own discovery of interests and talents and how they can be applied in the real world.

3.      Visit a College Campus
College and university spring breaks are often different than K-12 schools, so it’s a great time to arrange for a campus tour – live or virtual. Most colleges will have information for future or prospective students on their websites. If you don’t see a link that gives you the options available for visiting the school, just find a phone number and call for information. While you’re on the website, click on all the other links for future students, too!

4.      Explore Summer Learning Opportunities
Spring is the season when school districts, colleges and community agencies all start sharing their plans to keep students busy over the summer. From summer camps, to short-term training, to skill-building and credit recovery, the opportunities are many. However, some of the most popular programs fill up quickly. All the more reason to check the websites of organizations in your area and sign up early!

5.      Apply for a Summer Job
It’s not too early to survey summer employment opportunities! Though not every employer is accepting applications, you can stop in and ask about the possibilities. Remember to look sharp, to speak clearly, and – if applications are being accepted on site – fill in every blank in your neatest writing. If the application process is online, follow through with every employer of interest to you. No matter whether the application is handwritten or online, think of it as the very first sample of work you’ll be submitting; you want it to impress! You can search for employers in your area using FirmFind. Or, you might want to be a “summer entrepreneur.” You can get started now by visiting with neighbors and distributing flyers that advertise whatever service you’re prepared to offer – child care, housecleaning, yard care, car washing, even “tech support!” Line up your clientele, and maybe even put in some weekend hours to build their confidence in your abilities and character.

Spring break is definitely the ideal time to jump-start your career planning and set goals for the summer and beyond. Tell Utah CTE what you did during spring break. Email your stories to UtahCTE@schools.utah.gov.

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