Student Life

How to Make the Most of Your Junior Year

Aleena Islam, Student Contributor

March 08, 2019

How to Make the Most of Your Junior Year
Hopefully, you will find that junior year may not be that stressful once you break it down.
As most underclassmen are well aware, junior year can bring more stress and tears than the rest of high school. Difficult classes combined with studying for standardized tests such as the SATs, as well as the looming presence of college applications in the next year, can create a very long and grueling year. Junior year is also regarded as one of, if not the, most important year of your high school career. This can all sound overwhelming; don’t freak out quite yet, though. Hopefully, you will find that junior year may not be that stressful once you break it down.
Plan Your Schedule
Chances are that if you’re reading this, you’re not quite yet a junior. To make sure you enter junior year well prepared, the first thing to do is to create a well-rounded schedule.
Junior year usually includes classes more rigorous than underclassmen courses, so it is almost a guarantee that you will have to devote more time and effort for each course. Ideally, you want to sign up for classes that you can perform well in academically while challenging you. A good idea when signing up for classes is to choose more rigorous classes, like AP courses, in subjects you are stronger in. Sign up for easier classes in subjects you may be lacking in. Be sure to include electives that you are genuinely interested in if possible, since that will be more likely to keep you motivated. Plan out a potential senior year schedule as well, if possible, so you can have a clear vision in mind for the next two years.
Start Studying for Standardized Tests
Junior year is the time to start prepping for standardized tests if you have not yet started. Whether you take the SATs, ACTs, or another test, it’s best to begin studying well in advance so that your do your absolute best. Decide when you will take these tests and plan a studying schedule around these dates. Even studying in the summer before junior year can get you ahead of the game!
Narrow Down on Your Top Colleges
While it may not seem like it, senior year is right around the corner, and it truly will be here before you know it. With the arrival of senior year comes the chaos of college applications. There are many things that you can do as a junior to ease the stress of these applications, such as curating a college list. Knowing what colleges you are going to apply to and what these colleges require before entering senior year allows you to dive straight into the applications in the fall of senior year. Start thinking about what you prefer in a college: location, offered extracurriculars, majors, etc. Use these preferences to compile a list of potential colleges and, if you can, then by all means, visit them!
Stay Focused
It is important that you stay focused and finish out your junior year strong! After almost three years in high school, it’s extremely easy to fall prey to early senioritis and slack off on your schoolwork and extracurriculars, but try your best to stay focused! Don’t forget to participate in extracurriculars that you enjoy to balance out the amount of work you have! While this may seem like a lot to get done in just one short year, it’s not so terribly overwhelming once you break it down!

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