Reporting with Hills Pride

The Trailblazer

Reporting with Hills Pride

The Trailblazer

Reporting with Hills Pride

The Trailblazer

Junior Year – Key to Success or Key to Failure?

GPA, SATs, extracurricular activities, volunteer hours, AP tests, and finally college – everything just rushes into juniors’ heads all at once as reality hits them: there are only two years left of high school, and they better start preparing to make it the best year possible.

Students need to start watching out for their grades as junior year counts the most in the eyes of many elite colleges. They might want to start thinking about a plan for what to study in college as well. All this is too much to handle in one year.

Many juniors confront a dilemma of considering what grades are best for certain type schools, what SAT scores are required, and how to organize everything into one simple plan.

First and foremost, juniors need to take a deep breath. You still have seven more months to make plans for college.

Second, check how well you have been doing in school in terms of grades, clubs, and volunteering, and then match which colleges best fit you by going on to Naviance (a great resource to find learn where you stand). If you do not match certain requirements, it is not too late to join a club and start acquiring community service hours.Improve your grades if you feel like you are behind everyone else. Don’t procrastinate, especially during junior year when time is so limited.

Third, find something that is special about you which separates you from the rest of your classmates, whether it be sports, music, or other personal experiences. This is a great way to find ideas for college application essays.

All of this is fundamental to success, but time management is the key factor to mostly everything. Junior year is all about managing stress and concentration. It can turn students into sleep-deprived zombies, but if you make plans and stay organized, then there is no reason to get only three hours of sleep each night.

Junior year tests us on how well we utilize our time, whether it is on small tests or big tests like APs and SATs. If we fail to complete these tasks, everything will start to break down and cause worry. Ask counselors, teachers, parents, and even Hills alums for advice because it really does help!
As a junior, I know I am certainly not the only one who’s anxious and more sensitive about everything going on in school. Classes are harder, and I am already off to a rough start. But that is part of life, and there are still many difficulties that lie ahead.

Junior year marks the beginning of the end of high school. Although the following may not fit everyone’s plan, if you have not started anything, then try to follow this procedure. It might help.

  1. From now until June, keep maintain your grades if they are good, and if they are not, gear up now.
  2. If you have been constantly working on SAT I, try to finish it by March. If you delay till May and June, you collide with AP tests and SAT II Subject tests, a huge amount of work to handle all at once. Try not to leave the major test to October of next year.
  3. Starting from March or even earlier, begin considering AP tests. Buy the books and study guides needed to help and guide you through the formats of the tests. Since the tests are scheduled May, take time to consider what you have learned all these months before.
  4. After AP tests are over in June, it’s best to take all the subject tests that correspond to what you studied for the APs.
  5. In between all of this, try something new. Start a new club or join a new team or take up a new instrument. Keep in mind that GPA and scores are not everything. Colleges want something more from you.

I really hope junior year turns the best for the class of 2015. When we graduate next year, I hope everyone has the biggest and proudest smiles on their faces as we receive our diplomas and walk the path to a new phase in our lives. Good luck everyone and work without regrets!

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