Students sit together writing on colored paper.By KCI Trustee Ava Chae 

Finals are coming to an end, and semester break is just around the corner. As the end of the semester approaches, you might be wondering, “What should I do with my free time?” Here are a few ways to enjoy your break:  

Catch up on organizing. Your backpack probably has stacks of crumpled homework and old notes from the first week of school. As the last of your final exams end, sort through your binders and notebooks for important documents to save and scratch paper to throw out. It’s also time to clear last year’s textbooks from your desk and brush the dust off your room lamp. Although organizing your room and schoolwork may seem tedious, your future self will thank you when the new semester starts next month.  

Declutter your electronics. Maybe your room already sparkles, and your Cornell notes are already color-coded by subject. Now take organizing to the next step: electronics. The desktop, downloads and documents on your computer likely have dozens of temporary files that need deleting or backing up.  

Create a few folders to organize unfiled documents, and erase junk files to clear storage space on your computer, tablet and phone. Uninstall apps you have not opened in the past few months and delete unwanted photos and videos from your camera to save memory. A quick declutter of your gadgets now will help you in the long run.  

Work on college and scholarship applications. For some of you, college and scholarship application deadlines are fast approaching. For others, deadlines are months away and lingering at the end of your to-do lists. Either way, consider investing a few hours during the break to work on applications.  

Pinpoint specific scholarship or college essays you want to knock out before the new year and set a goal of how many to draft each week. Keep a timeline of applications and organize them by priority to ensure you don’t miss a deadline. Also, update any important documents such as resumes and cover letters for upcoming jobs or internships. Preparing beforehand will take you far, especially when opportunities present themselves when you least expect them.  

Volunteer in your community. The semester break is the perfect time to spread gratitude and give back to others. If you are a leader at your school’s Key Club, the break can be a great opportunity to brainstorm service projects and events that would contribute to your school and community. Gather other available members for a short meeting to discuss community needs and what you can do to help. Find a way to serve and support a cause you are passionate about. 

Above all, use your break for yourself. You deserve the next few weeks off after a long semester of hard work. Sing along to your favorite tunes, catch up on a few missed TV shows and spend time with your loved ones. As you think about how to spend the upcoming break from school, remember to include some fun!