By Mihika Badjate
Junior year is almost universally known as the most difficult year of high school. It is not only accompanied by a sharp increase in workload but also the year that matters the most for college admissions. Here are a few tips that help me stay sane (most of the time) despite all of the pressure:
This, in my opinion, is the most important piece of advice. There are so many factors going on in junior year, from clubs, volunteering, and standardized testing to just finishing loads of school work, to the point that it can be difficult keeping track of all of your commitments. I like to keep a huge calendar on the door to my room, where I write every detail down. This can be an effective way of setting goals for yourself as well–you can write down what you want to accomplish, and when you look at your calendar every morning, you are reminded of your goals. However, while this is the method that works best for me, use a method of organization that is effective for you, so that you are motivated to stick to it.
Stay on Track With Schoolwork
While it is sometimes easy to think you can skip a few days of work and catch up later, you’ll thank yourself for finishing it all sooner. There’s nothing worse than realizing you skipped one too many chapters and, as a result, have 200 pages of the textbook to read before the test tomorrow. Of course, there will be times when you have to prioritize certain subjects over others–and sometimes it may not seem humanly possible to finish everything on time. But try and adhere to due dates as much as possible.
Start Standardized Testing
While you don’t have to worry about college applications quite yet, you’ll probably want to take the SAT or ACT sometime this year, so that you have ample chances to retake it if you’d like to. It’s also worthwhile to start looking into the SAT subject tests, so that you are not overloaded during senior year and will be able to focus on college essays during that time. Some subject tests, such as Math II, cover material that you may have already finished in your sophomore or junior year, so it’s a good idea to take them while the information is still fresh in your mind.