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Mix pleasure with the business of college prep

Mix pleasure with the business of college prep
Mix pleasure with the business of college prep
Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Anxious parents and their college-bound students are well acquainted with the stress college prep brings. However, studying, researching and other necessary tasks don’t have to overwhelm. Incorporate some fun and the stress will go down while the work gets done! Here are six great ways to combine college prep activities with fun.

Change scenery

Change scenery
Change scenery Photo by Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images

Boredom, weariness and frustration may set in from monotonous and tedious tasks. Shake things up to motivate and get the job done by changing to a fun location. Pack up the laptop, books and supplies and head off to a park, beach or coffee bar to continue studying.

Enjoy the art of mealtime conversation

Enjoy the art of mealtime conversation
Enjoy the art of mealtime conversation Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for Food Network SoBe Wine & Food Festival

The whole family can participate in improving vocabulary. Pick a college level word(s) most likely to be found on college admission tests and see how many times it can be used appropriately at the dinner table. It’s a fun way for the college-bound student to study for SAT/ACT exams and have interesting mealtime conversations.

Form a book club

Form a book club
Form a book club Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

There are lots of books about college prep to help the college-bound. Students may form a book club to discuss the best suggestions from a selected title. To search for best fit schools, brainstorm personal likes/dislikes. Use a book/website listing colleges and divvy them up to research and report back to the group. It’s fun to study with friends but keep focused on the task first and save the socialization for later.

Create a reward system

Create a reward system
Create a reward system Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

What’s more fun than a special treat? More special treats. Let these be the trophies for winning college prep self-competition chores. Create a to-do list and break it down into smaller tasks. Then make a list of fun things to do during a brief break. Each time one step on the to-do list is completed, pick a reward from the fun list and enjoy!

Take a collegecation

Take a collegecation
Take a collegecation Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images

After the college list is formed, parents and students are ready to visit the schools selected. Make the trip fun by adding some vacation ideas to the college tour. Stop at special attractions along the way and take advantage of free and low cost campus activities. Enjoy the recreational and educational offerings at the college and the local community. It will help students decide if the school should be included or nixed off the final college list.

Celebrate accomplishments

Celebrate accomplishments
Celebrate accomplishments Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images for J. Crew

After the test is taken, the college list formed, and the applications sent, it’s time for celebrating big time. Part of the fun is anticipation so families can discuss now what to do in the future. Choose something all family members will enjoy and look forward to doing it together.