Tips for the Summer Before Your Final Year of High School

By University of Waterloo Modified on July 10, 2019

How to prepare to apply for university.

Smiling students work together in the sun.

Your final year of high school is a busy time. Between class work, school events, clubs, part-time jobs, graduation, and applying to university, there's a lot to do! By starting to think about university in the summer, you can relieve some of the pressure in the fall.

Think about what you're interested in

The sooner you start to narrow down your options and find out what you're truly interested in, the easier applying to university will be.

If you're not sure what you're really interested in, try taking an online career quiz, read up on different career fields, or talk to people you know who are working in fields that appeal to you. Read our student-written article for a more detailed guide on how to choose a university program.

Learn about universities

In person

Campus tours are a great way to figure out if a school is right for you and start learning about programs and student life. Visiting during the summer means you can get a feel for the campus and start to picture what life could be like at university. Most times campus tours are led by current students, which means you can have all your student life questions answered by the experts themselves!


If you can't make it to campus, the internet is the next best thing. Universities have websites, social media accounts, and YouTube channels filled with tons of information. From programs to student life and everything in between, you're sure to find everything online!

Get some experience

Gaining experience is great for so many reasons. Whether your experience is though working or volunteering, you can start to build your professional network, figure out what you like to do (and don't like to do), and start growing your resume.

Have fun

Take some time to enjoy your summer. Thinking about applying to university can be overwhelming, so it's good to take some time to relax and have fun! Do something you've always wanted to do or go somewhere you've never been! Although summer is a great time to start getting prepared, it's still summer!

We hope this helps you feel more confident when it comes to applying to universities. For tips on how to have a great final year, check out our ultimate guide for grade 12 success.