School. Family. Work. Late nights. All of these are part of the typical schedule for a typical junior. Some might think that it isn’t too difficult or that it is easy to manage, but junior year is one of the most difficult years of high school. This is simply a fact, especially if college is a definite part of your future. With that being said, this is some advice that I’ve learned over the past couple of years that might help with the stress.
In your underclassmen years, school probably wasn’t that hard. Yes, there were classes you struggled in (mine were chemistry and world history), but that was manageable. Of course, I thought that it would all be easy to handle. All I had to do was go to school and keep my grades up and life would be handed to me on a gold platter. Don’t be like me and have this mindset. The first piece of advice I was enlightened to learn was don’t forget about your hobbies. I found that during the school year, I would overload myself with work and had little time to do what I found relaxing. For me, this turned out to be playing guitar, cooking, or simply reading. With the colleges I wanted to go to, near perfect grades were a necessity, but there are other more important aspects to be a well rounded person that can overshadow a good academic record.
Along with this very valuable advice, personal health is also a vital lesson that can’t be ignored. The more I focused on the academic aspects of life, I found that I ignored or, for a better term, overlooked my health. With this being said, my next piece of advice would to be keep yourself in both the present and the future. Making future plans is something all high schoolers should try to think about, but this shouldn’t come as a sacrifice for your own wellbeing. I dealt with anxiety and eating problems that all stemmed from me paying less attention to myself. Struggling with problems such as these is definitely an issue I’ve seem plague most, if not all, juniors at some point. Seeking help with these issues will not only allow yourself to be more healthy, but it will pay off in the long run.
Going off of the previous tip, I also find that this carries on over into relationships. Being optimistic, you could find yourself open to possibilities that probably shouldn’t be as high of priority in your life as it should be. This would be true for friends, teachers, mentors, and especially certain for romantic relationships. Many adults that I know say that high school romance is either pointless, foolish, or distracting for us, but I do believe that people outside of a relationship don’t see the full picture. With that, my third piece of advice would be to never let what others say mean more than what you think. People try to help through their own experiences, but no two are ever the same so keep to what you believe is true.
Time is moving faster nowadays as we are getting closer to adult life. One day, it was just freshman year and now suddenly, I’m watching my senior friends walk the stage with their diplomas. These class divisions weren’t as prominent in the previous years, but this year it was reinforced with my senior friends dealing with their senior stresses and my junior friends dealing with their own problems. Learning to get through these past three years with a growing group of friends is something that I’m happy to say that I’ve been able to have. With that, I learned to never be afraid of meeting new people as a valuable lesson. Friendships are great to make and it’s best to make as many lasting ones as possible.
The last piece of advice I have to offer that I learned this year was during my own period of struggle. Life isn’t easy and everyone faces multiple setbacks at various points in their lives. The greatest thing isn’t what you do when you’ve faced these walls, but how you get over them. That’s why my last piece of advice is to be true to yourself and know that your morals are more important than anything. Life throws many curveballs, but getting through with the best in you is the best anyone can really do. There are many low points in life, but for each of these, there are just as many highs.
Junior year was definitely a learning curve and there are plenty more things that can be learned from it. From staying up late to do last-minute projects to early mornings in the gym, I’ve learn to love this stress yielding year. My lessons learned make it a great year, and these lessons can be applied to college applications: with the help of these five tips.