How to Move Your College Search Forward (and Still Have Fun) on Your Holiday Break

student's hand writing in a notebook

No matter where you are in your college search process, there’s something about stretches of time like the upcoming holiday break that can either a) make you feel like you should be doing something (anything!) to keep your college search moving or b) make you want to do nothing but binge shows on Netflix and eat cookies.

Never fear. This week’s blog post is designed to help you keep moving forward no matter what your class year and motivation level. Pick a few items from the post(s) for your class year. Then sit back and enjoy your break guilt-free, knowing that you’re moving toward the future you want.


If you’re like most freshmen, you may not even be thinking about college yet. And while that’s perfectly understandable, this blog post offers some ideas for ways to enrich your high school experience AND begin laying the groundwork for getting into the college of your dreams. From exploring extracurriculars to identifying potential summer camps or jobs, the activities you engage in throughout high school will help round out your resume when it comes time to apply to college.


Much like the freshmen, if you’re a sophomore, college probably still feels like it’s a long way off. And it is – but this blog post suggests some steps you can take now to move your college search forward.

One option? Take advantage of the holidays, when you’re more likely to interact with adult friends and family members. Instead of waiting for the dreaded “how is school going?” question, take charge of the conversation! Ask about their college experiences and how their studies prepared them for their current careers. What might they have done differently? They might even be able to connect you with summer jobs or internships.


If you’re a junior, you may already be thinking about colleges that interest you, or considering whether to take the ACT or SAT. This blog post offers a list of steps you can take over your winter break, while this blog post provides a more comprehensive view of the college search for juniors.

Take a college assessment to help find the right college fit for you, or sign up for a college visit. Not quite there yet? Check out this list of seven college search tips for high school juniors to get started.


For seniors, college feels very real and, depending on where you are in your college search process, it may be a bit overwhelming. Don’t panic! You still have time to make a thoughtful decision about where to attend college.

Explore this list of winter break tips just for seniors. For a more comprehensive list, check out this blog post for guidance from searching, to applying, to sorting through acceptance offers. And if you’re concerned about paying for college, this post offers tips to get you started.

Bottom line: by taking some time out from your holiday fun to make progress on your college search, you’ll enjoy your well-deserved break even more.

Happy Holidays from Meredith College!

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