Junior year is an especially important time for high school students. Sure, you’re no longer “fresh meat” to the upperclassmen but there’s more to it than that—this is the year your college journey starts. Reflecting back on my Junior year there were a lot of things I wish I had known; to help YOU start Junior year on the right foot, here’s some advice I would have liked to hear back then.
• Practice Does Make Perfect: I am sure everyone has heard the phrase “practice makes perfect” a million times! However, what I wish I knew during junior year of high school is that this phrase is beyond true. Spending time on whatever you would like to improve definitely pays off.
- Take Those Standardized a 2nd or 3rd Time: By the middle of junior year, all students should have taken the ACT or SAT. Some students will automatically get their desired score; however, there are some students who know they could have done better. While my ACT score was higher than what my dream college required, I knew I could have done better. I signed up to take the ACT again. While this was a great step, I forgot to do one thing—practice for the second time. Some people may argue that there is no way to “study” for the ACT or SAT, however, there is a way to get practice! I wish I knew that taking practice versions of the ACT would greatly help me.
• It’s Not All About Academics: I will not lie, getting into college is no joke. You must be serious about your academics. But at the same time, I wish I knew that I should have relaxed more during junior year.
- Have Fun: Do something different! Instead of studying for that Calculus class 24/7, go out with friends, watch a movie, or even go bungee jumping. I did not think the beginning of senior year would be so stressful. If only I knew that, I would probably taken more breaks to have fun. It is a good idea to enjoy junior year, so when you start off senior year, you can get down to business without having to feel so tired.
- Connect With Similar Minds: I wish I could go back to junior year to connect with more students who had similar career goals in mind. I waited until senior year to become friends with more seriously college-bound students.
• The World is A Big Place: Once again, this is a phrase you have probably heard since you started school. Unfortunately, some students do not keep this phrase in mind. I know that I probably should have paid heed to it. Explore your options—both literally and figuratively—to find out what’s the best fit for you.
- Competition Is Tough: The world isn’t reflected by one’s high school career. The fact of the matter is that most of the students who attend your high school are in the same boat as you in terms of socioeconomic status, religion, or anything other identifying factor. I wish I kept in mind that when applying for colleges. I didn’t realize I would be up against students not only from the United States, but also from every part of the world. Keep in mind that competition is tough; therefore, it is best to start strong from junior year. Research your college choices, take rigorous courses, and get involved in your community.
- Prove Your Worth: Starting junior year it is the best time to show what type of student you are. Take advantages of all the opportunities you are given, and give it your best!
After reading this you might think Junior year is filled with nothing but hardships, challenges, and long days…and to be honest, part of it is. BUT keep in mind there’s so much more to your Junior year than what happens in the classroom. This is your chance to step it up and lay the ground work for your college future, because after that, it’s a whole new world.