Declassified Survival Guide: Junior Year

Lainie Rowland, Co-Editor-in-Chief

As a recent survivor of the notoriously perilous adventure that is commonly called “junior year,” there are some words of wisdom I have accrued through the course of my experiences. Juniors, fraught with the pressure of standardized testing, college visits, extracurriculars, and, not to mention, an academically challenging year, sometimes freak out a little bit. As Elizabeth Klein eloquently puts it, “I almost died.”

So, for all the helpless prisoners of Mr. Mueller’s AP U.S. History class, of demanding SAT tutoring, of grueling sports practice followed by all-nighters, or of all those stresses combined, here’s your plan:

1)   Take it one thing at a time. I can’t stress how important this is. Don’t expect to do well on your SAT if you studied for it under your desk during Spanish class. And don’t expect to do well with Señora Davis that way either, as a matter of fact. Prioritizing and strategizing your time also relieves anxiety and makes tasks more manageable.

2)   Put in the time and effort. It’s incredible how much your success or failure junior year can affect the rest of your life. No pressure, but slacking off this time around will cost you- no matter who you are.

3)   Keep a schedule. Don’t act like you’re too cool for the school planner everyone gets. Write down your homework and your activities, and then you can even feel accomplished when you cross off what you’ve done.

4)   Visit colleges over breaks- but keep the visits realistic. Do your research before you visit. Figuring out what you don’t want in a college is much easier than figuring out what you want. Like anything else, it’s a learning process, and if you don’t see it as that, you will get overwhelmed.

5)   Believe in yourself. Everyone gets through it eventually, you will too.

Ultimately, junior year is a necessary evil that we all must endure. If you approach it the right way though, it does not have to be as bad as everybody says it is.