May 9, 2018
Junior year, the year that every high schooler dreads. Each and every 12th grader shudders upon its mention. My junior year was filled with experiences that helped me grow and defined me as a person. Luckily, I survived my junior year without any tears, but I did develop a few sparse grey hairs along the way. Below are some tips to help you survive junior year.
Step one: Do not overload your schedule with AP classes just to because you think it will look good to colleges.
Junior year was hyped up to be the most rigorous year of my high school life and looking back I definitely could have managed my schedule and time so that it was not. That brings me to tip number 1. Do not–I repeat–do not fill up your schedule with a bunch of AP classes that you couldn’t care less about. This will make you absolutely miserable. Along with AP exams you will be balancing SAT/ACT tests, extracurriculars, a social life, and maybe a job, so it is simply not possible to take every single AP. Ally Delucca, current senior involved in YAF and working at the gym said, “I took four AP classes and looking back on it now I definitely regretted it because I was extremely stressed out.” My advice would be that, if you do want to take more AP classes, choose AP classes that your prospective colleges give credit for.
Step two: Apply and challenge yourself!
Although you don’t want to overload your schedule, you do want to challenge yourself and not slack off. If you know you can take an honors class without being overwhelmed, and your teacher is telling you that you can be successful taking an honors class, then take it! If you know you can move on to Calc AP and you teacher is encouraging you to–take it! This is not the year to sit back and sleep through your classes, but make sure that you do not push yourself to the point of 2 hours of sleep per night, because that’s not healthy either.
Senior and football player Garrett Rent said one thing he wishes he could change about his junior year was, “Probably my work ethic because initially I started with three AP classes and ended up dropping one–AP Calc–just because I didn’t want to put in the work and was failing the class. I am glad that I just went to Business Calc GT because it is still weighted and your GPA is important your junior year, although I was not able to get an AP credit I was able to get the equivalent GPA if I had taken AP Calc.”
Step three: Mange your SAT’s wisely.
SAT can cause a lot of stress junior year and I suggest taking no more than 3 SATs total. If you do not get the score you want your first time, do not freak out! Relax, study more and retake the test.
Current counselor, Lisa Clearfield suggests, “Tenth and eleventh graders should plug their sat scores into Khan Academy online. This way Khan Academy will break down their areas of strength and weakness and provide questions that will focus on how to improve your test scores.”
Step four: Do not stress out about prom. It is not that serious.
Prom is supposed to be fun, not something that gives you anxiety. Unfortunately, prom is more expensive than renting a boat for a day amongst ten friends, so start saving your money now! On average boys and girls spend about 150 dollars (if you’re a smart spender), and up to 600 dollars if you go all out. For girls, that includes: dresses, tickets, transportation, food, makeup, hair, boutineer, shoes, and jewelry. For boys, that includes: tux rental, shoes, tickets, after prom, haircut, corsage, food, transportation. But you can find ways to save, for example, borrowing a dress/tux, driving yourself, having a potluck with friends, asking a friend to do makeup and hair, wearing flip flops and using jewelry you already have.
Tyeteona Harding, current senior involved basketball, lacrosse and BSU suggests, “Save going all out for senior year and make sure you have everything together at least a month before prom. ”
Step five: Relax.
Give yourself at least 45 minutes of downtime everyday. Junior year brings lots of homework, but it is important to have some time just for yourself as well. Some things I would do to give myself downtime involved eating ice cream and watching Netflix.
Other people such as Christianna Kelley, current senior involved in DECA, Field Hockey, Basketball, Lacrosse, and SGA enjoyed, “spending time on my phone watching Netflix or going onto social media because it helped me get my mind off of the stress for a few brief moments.”
So sophomores, when next year rolls around remember to keep your chin up. Even when times get tough, your grades and SATs will not define you and your parents will always love you.