A Guide to your Junior Year
Junior year: an infamously difficult time in a student’s high school career, consisting of SATs, college applications, an overwhelming course load, and the list goes on. I’d place bets that any current Senior would be the first to tell you that they’re glad that their junior year days are far behind them, but that doesn’t do us current juniors much good…so what would? As juniors attempt to take on the difficult challenge, I’d encourage them to take a moment and listen to some advice from their elders… otherwise known as retired struggling juniors: Seniors. I decided it was best to interview and survey a handful of East’s senior class. My interview consisted of three main questions:
What’re the biggest challenges Juniors should expect to face during the year?
The responses were just as you’d expect, resulting in a surplus of stories that went into the gory details of keeping up with difficult classes, preparing for SATS, looking into colleges… and more. Almost all seniors interviewed made a point of highlighting two particularly difficult aspects of junior year; the first being juggling the SATS and other state tests with their school work, and the second being the introduction to the “college scene”. Who would have thought that studying for the SAT while simultaneously writing lengthy college apps wouldn't have been a blast?
What were your best strategies for staying on top of your work and avoiding stress?
Let’s be realistic, most seniors didn’t have a specific set of “strategies” that they used to keep up their studies. “To be straight up, I didn't keep on top of any of my work last year,” admitted Senior Ari Brodsky, “I wouldn’t recommend that strategy for this year.” I want to say thanks, Ari, this might actually be the best piece of advice of all. Maya HaLevi emphasized doing your work while actually in class when you're able to seek out help from your teachers, saying that “prioritizing class time might seem obvious, but when I started utilizing my time in class I noticed that my workload outside of class got smaller.” The overwhelming theme might just be the importance of time management skills.
What should Juniors absolutely NOT do?
Outside of the obvious suggestions along the lines of “don’t skip class” and “don’t pretend you’re cool because you’re an ‘upperclassmen’ now”... the piece of advice given most wasn’t actually school related at all. Senior Elin Lawrence expressed the opinion that juniors “shouldn’t only focus on academics…” saying that “even though it’s an important year academically it’s also an important year for making friends and finding yourself.” Calvin Postal seconded the notion, reminding us juniors how important it is to “ take a moment to enjoy the year, have fun, and go do social activities when you get the chance.” It’s said that the best way to avoid “academic burnout” is to remember the importance of life outside of school.
In a general sense, junior year will obviously be tough, what year of high school isn’t… but let's hope these tips make it bearable.