10 Tips for Junior Year
Hi, everyone! For my last blog I wanted to end on a conclusive note as I near the end of my junior year and enter into senior year.
Junior year is often hyped up as the hardest year in high school, so I wanted to give advice on how to survive this daunting year.
1. Start test prep early
At this point, you have heard this multiple times, but it is so true. Start prepping for the SATs and/or ACTs when you can because one of the biggest challenges of junior year is managing the courseload while simultaneously practicing for these tests. I’d recommend starting the summer before junior year (as I did) in order to not feel as pressured and stressed when the school year starts.
2. Use Khan Academy for test prep
On the subject of test prep, Khan Academy offers free online practice questions for the SAT. I found these really helpful for circumstances where I didn’t have enough time to do a whole practice test but I still wanted to get some extra practice in.
3. Start zoning in on the activities that you are passionate about rather than doing activities for your resume
Junior year, your coursework increases, test prep begins, and you take on more leadership roles in extracurricular activities as an upperclassman. It might be difficult to choose to concentrate solely on activities that you want to do—rather than activities that you just do for your resume. You won’t have as much time to do as many activities as you might have done in the past, so start committing to the extracurriculars that really matter to you.
4. GET YOUR COMMUNITY SERVICE HOURS DONE
I got my hours done pretty early, but many juniors put off getting their hours to the last minute. I recommend spacing your hours out over the summers or school years before your junior year because it’s not going to be fun spending the summer before your senior year trying to get all of your hours done.
5. Branch out on your friendships
Of course, having a main group of friends is amazing (shout out to bread queens) but it’s also really beneficial and fun to have friends from other groups too. During my junior year I’ve noticed that I’ve become friends with way more people than I have in the past. I’ve become close friends with girls I hadn’t even talked to before this year, and my school life has been way more enjoyable.
6. AP Crash Course books and Princeton Review will be your saviors (applicable to students taking AP EURO and US History exams)
Those books are literally all you need for studying for the APEURO and APUSH exams.
7. Stop comparing yourself to others
This is something I’m constantly trying to work on myself. With the constant discussions surrounding SATs, ACTs, subject tests, GPAs, and grades, it’s very easy to fall into a toxic habit of comparing yourself to your peers. I’ve tried to stop telling other people my grade when they ask me and asking to know the grade of other classmates. I didn’t tell anyone my ACT scores as I didn’t want to feel inferior to anyone else or accidentally stress someone else out. As more people start talking about colleges, I’ve decided not to tell friends my top choices because I think the conversation can induce unneeded stress.
8. Reconnect and clear the air
In your second-to-last year of high school, it’s nice to rekindle old friendships or clear the air with people you may have tension with. I’ve done this a lot this year, and I think it has been really nice to reconnect with one of my best friends from middle school and be on good terms with everyone I can. It’s not worth it to leave high school while you are mad at people that matter to you.
9. Don’t be afraid to try new things
This might contradict my third point of concentrating on meaningful activities, but you might discover a new passion or talent if you try new activities. I would’ve never thought I’d be writing for Holton’s Scribbling until Michelle *harassed* me into trying it, but I must say I’ve enjoyed it J
10. Have Fun!
You might wonder how one could possibly have fun during junior year, infamously the most stressful year in high school. But, junior year has surprisingly been one of my happiest and most enjoyable years in high school. Don’t forget to live the high school experience. Go out with friends, treat yourself, whatever. In the future, you’ll remember the memories you made with your classmates and friends—and not the bad test grade you got in math.
Thank you to everyone who read this blog! It really made my day whenever people came up to me to talk about my posts. I hope everyone has a great summer!