High School Seniors

What I Wish I Knew as a Junior 

December 5, 2018

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By Sydney McCoy

Junior year is dubbed as the hardest year in High School as your grades for college will be determined this year. A lot of kids try to take on heavy work loads with multiple AP (Advanced Placement, college level), dual enrollment and honors classes. This is great to push yourself to better your GPA, but is also a great opportunity to tank it.

During my Junior year, I took five classes year long instead of four as I had two AP switch classes, that had class every other day. This was a nice option as I had twice as long for projects to get turned in, but also burnt me out having these classes year long. The hardest class I took during 11th grade was Honors Chemistry. I personally am not a big fan of math which this class is based on, which led to low grades and not going to lie, tears. Since it was an honors class, it had more challenging work and more math equations that I didn’t understand. Unfortunately, I could not have taken non-honors as my AP classes could not be moved.

Make sure when signing up for classes your Sophmore year, chose a workload that will challenge yourself but still allow you to have a social life. Clubs and jobs you acquire Junior year is what colleges will judge you on. 

When applying, you need to be well rounded, with academics and extracurriculars. Colleges look at you as a whole person now and not just an SAT score, meaning do as many things possible to become a stand out candidate.

For taking standardized tests, study, use the free programs College Board provides, get tutors and read practice books. The average student takes each test twice, so do not stress if you do not like your grade you can always take it again, at a fee.

Something I did not know, is whatever your GPA is at the end of Junior year is, will be what colleges see. You cannot try to save yourself at the beginning of Senior year, what you finish with for grades, will be what you apply with. 

If I had to pick one year to really buckle down and focus on grades, it would be Junior year.

This is a time where you need to focus on yourself, not the drama at school, or all the crazy parties, but you as a person. Start thinking about your future, look at colleges you may want to apply to, think of a major, even get a job. This is a pivotal year that is scary to say, but can really determine the rest of your life. Don’t get too heavy of a workload, but don’t slack off. Become a well rounded person, one that any college will want to have on their campus when you apply in a few months.

This is part two of a series of guest blog posts from Sydney McCoy about being a senior and life as a teen in general.  If you missed the first post, click here to read.  Check back for the next post soon!

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