Often high school students are told that their junior year is the most pivotal.
The college application process is on every rising junior’s mind. Your acceptance does indeed ride heavily on your performance in your junior year.
This is the last full year colleges will look at. It is imperative that the most rigorous courses are taken with the absolute best results. This year will most likely affect the next five years of your life. The choices that are made in the process of narrowing down colleges and career paths will increase your chances of success later in life.
Setting a goal for yourself is essential; you don’t have to be a super star athlete with the perfect grades to get into a good college, but you should craft a schedule filled with challenging classes. As a rising junior, I am taking two Advanced Placement courses along with four Honors classes and one regular level class.
When I changed my schedule, I confided in my guidance counselor. Together, we sat down and weighed our options. I was originally taking three Advanced Placement classes, but dropped down to two in order to make it less overwhelming. An altered schedule will give you the ability to participate in other extracurricular activities. These extracurricular activities are what set you apart in the college application process.
Doing something that makes you shine in your high school career is immensely important. Founding a club, becoming a class officer, volunteering, or playing sports will set you apart from the crowd. Spreading yourself too thin and getting involved in an activity in order to have an impressive college resume is not the goal. Instead, find something your passionate about and stick to it. Be persistent, improving your personal skills in that particular area.
I found my niche early.
I love to write, and am looking into going into the communications field. Knowing this, I am going to do absolutely anything I can in order to further myself. This past summer, going into my junior year, my goal was to do something that showed how much my prospective career meant to me. I participated in internships with my local newspaper and in the communications field with TeenLife. Starting in September I will be editor of my school’s newspaper. Getting involved in these activities gives me the upper hand in my application process because they pinpoint my interests.
Once the school year gets underway, juniors should begin to look at colleges. Use the resources such as your PSAT scores, College Board, and Naviance to narrow down your college prospects. Decide how far you want to travel, whether you want a private or a public university, what is most cost effective and let that propel you in your junior year to do everything you can to get accepted.
My top choice school right now is Boston College for one simple reason; I go for free because my mom works there.
College is a major expense so having an opportunity such as mine can be your driving factor.
In trying to succeed in your junior year, leave time for a social life. Between soccer, track, the newspaper, and school, I can become overwhelmed sometimes. Take a day to hang out with your friends or relax. Watch your favorite TV show, read a book, paint, listen to music; these are all things you can do to keep yourself sane in the busiest and most crucial year of high school.
Though it may be overwhelming, the results of a productive year will be more than satisfactory. Set a goal for what you want to gain from this year in high school. Prioritize the steps that it takes to get to that goal; including classes, extracurricular activities, sports, and test preparation. Colleges want to see that you have taken on a rigorous course load and that you are a well-rounded person aside from that.