Make the most out of your holidays and get into your dream university

20/12/20196 minute read
Make the most out of your holidays and get into your dream university


Activities to do during the holidays that can get you into your dream university

Get studying!

Start reviewing school work early (your scores make a huge difference on your application)

If you can get a leg up beforehand, arriving to the first day of classes feeling familiar with the topics being covered can make it much easier to grasp the content and perform well. Besides, you will have to study for standardised exams, prepare your essays, create your capstone project, etc.

Prepare for the SAT, ACT, UCAT, AP, CIE, or any other standardized exam

You can get ready for exams over the holidays by taking practice exams, revisiting the syllabus content, creating study sheets, signing on for tutoring, etc.

Many exams (SAT, ACT, UCAT) allow students to take them more than once, which is a great opportunity for you to improve your score if you aren’t happy with it. If you plan to take an exam again, spend your spare time over the holidays studying so you can focus on other work when school starts back up again.

Scoring highly on the SAT takes lots of time and preparation. Check out our expert tips for scoring a perfect 1600 on the SAT!

Create an account on the College Board/ACT website

In order to take the PSAT, SAT, SAT subject and AP tests, an account on College Board is required. Create the account now. Signing up for the website is free and a lot easier than it sounds.

Not only can you sign up to take these tests, but you can also find important information out about US colleges, what you should study, how you compare to other applicants, etc.

Read a good book (or a few!)

Reading is a great way to prepare for the future reading you will likely have to do as a top university student. If you’re having trouble picking a good book, check out this list of books curated by Ivy League and Oxbridge students.

Research universities and majors

Take online courses on the topics you may want to study as your major

Not sure if you want to study marine biology or engineering? Taking short courses on interest areas may provide you with better insights on which subject is better suited for you. You’ll definitely want to familiarize yourself with the subjects you could study, making your decision on which university more assertive and well-based.

Do online research about schools that seem interesting to you

Shortlist the universities you are planning to apply to! This will help to guide your application strategy, as you likely will choose to apply to only a few colleges.

Read the university’s website, check the subject list of the degree you are interested in, read about the job opportunities for that career. For more tips on how to research any university in the world, read our blog.

Go on a campus tour

Making the most of your campus tour can sometimes be overwhelming, but visiting the university is one of the most important parts of choosing a college. Go there and feel the vibe, observe the routine, the lifestyle, the pace of the university.

If you don’t live close to universities, Crimson organizes university tours to campuses in both the US and UK, where you can meet like-minded students while getting the chance to explore the campus by yourself and have your own conclusions.

Talk to actual students

Talking to actual students or faculty members at your dream university is a great way to learn more about what it’s really like living and being a student there.

While you may not know a student at your dream university, you should definitely check out our Day In The Life videos on YouTube for more information on these amazing universities from real students!

Prepare your candidacy

Spruce up your portfolio

Many students think portfolios are only required for art students, when in reality, admissions officers love seeing portfolios from all different kinds of students. Spend this time gathering together your work throughout high school, whether it be from class, internships or extracurriculars, you’ll definitely want to consider showcasing it all in one place.

Find interesting events to attend

Crimson Education hosts events year-round all across the globe. Our Eventbrite has all our upcoming events posted for the year. Learn more about applying to US & UK universities, building your brand profile, what admissions officers are looking for and more! For more information (and free tickets!!!!) send us a message on Instagram.

Work on applications for summer programs

If you want to spend some time at your dream university before becoming an undergrad, many universities offer summer classes or programs. It’s a chance to experience the on-campus lifestyle for real before getting accepted. It’s also a great opportunity for networking and making new friends from all over the world.

Extracurricular and leadership activities

Extracurricular activities are one of the most important parts of the US college application. Universities are expecting to see unique and interesting activities on your application. If you aren’t too sure how to stand out, read our blog on why extracurriculars are important and how they can help you achieve your dreams.

You can search and apply for over 1.8 thousands extracurricular opportunities on the Crimson ECL MarketPlace. Our mentors have handpicked ECL activities all over the globe and organised them in one place for easy access for all students.

Develop your capstone project

A capstone project is an exciting (but time-consuming) project that highlights your ability to create, commit and deliver a full-bloomed strategy. It’s also your chance to devote yourself to something you truly love and give back to the community.

When planned in the right way, this aligns with your choice of major and skills and tells a consistent story on your candidacy. A simple example: you are passionate about STEM and want to apply to a tech-related major, you could start a Robotics club at your high school and invite the students and the community to join it.


Volunteering is a way to spend your time doing good for others, which is very important when developing skills to set your apart, especially when it comes to being an applicant to a top university.

When you are writing your application essays, the admission officers assess how mature you are and if you have a clear understanding of others and the position you occupy in your community.

By volunteering, you will get the chance to meet people from different backgrounds and improve your soft skills, which definitely helps you build up your personal brand.

Get an internship or job

College Admissions Officers are looking for students who are hard workers. You can show this on your application by remaining employed throughout high school.

This can be working at a local restaurant or even securing an internship related to the major you wish to pursue in college. Added bonus - you can use the money you make over the holidays to pay for the applications and exams fees!

Shadow a professional

If you can shadow someone who pursues the career that you envision for yourself, you might get a more accurate perspective on exactly what the job entails.

This is particularly valuable for students who want to pursue a career in medicine or healthcare, as the day-to-day job of a doctor can look vastly different depending on their speciality.