#90 TRENDING IN Student Life 🔥

Do's and Don'ts for Your Junior Year of High School

Student Life

August 22, 2023

As a sophomore, you've probably heard the "horrors" of junior year. Whether it be through the current juniors in your school, Tiktok posts, or even YouTube videos. Which leave may cause you to worry as soon as you step foot into the first day of your junior year.

But don't fret! Follow these simple do's (and don'ts) for your high school junior year.

1. Don't: Put your work off till the last minute.

Do: Start your work as soon as possible.

Even though your junior year is bound to start off slow, as it picks up, you'll want to have smart, strong habits for completing your work. By second semester, APs and SATs will be knocking on your door and teachers will start handing you 40 page review packets. (I mean it! Thank you AP US History.) So, once you get your homework, try and start the second you have a chance.

This could mean a free period, at lunch, right after school, or as soon as you get home from practice. Create a homework routine that allows you to participate in extracurricular activities, eat all your meals, but also to get a good night's rest.

Here's a tip: Set a timer! It can keep you from getting distracted and scrolling on your phone or watching TV. For example, I could typically complete my math homework in 15-20 minutes.

So I would set a timer for 30 minutes and get to work. With the clock ticking, my homework would be completed and corrected before the timer went off. With the remaining minutes, I'd grab some food, use the bathroom, or play with the dog. But once the timer went off, I went back to my assignments I needed to complete for the day, until they were all done.

For long-term assignments, where you may have a week (or even a month) brainstorming or writing a paragraph the day you get it, can help you in the long run. As your teacher presented the assignment, your brain may have started circulating ideas right away. Put them down so you don't forget at a later date. And remember to try to complete any long-term assignments a day or two (or a week) in advance, so you have time to edit and make sure it is your best work!

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2. Don't: ignore college opportunities.

Do: Visit college seminars and Prep courses.

Junior year is just a huge preparation for senior year. During this year, you will get a lot of opportunities to sit down with colleagues visiting your school and listen in on college prep courses.

Colleges send representatives to high schools all over to sit down and pitch their college to students. In these meetings, topics range from student life to cost/scholarships to application processes. Even if the school doesn't stand out to you, you can gain some more knowledge about the college world.

High school College and Career Counselors work hard to provide informative opportunities about college for juniors. My own counselors held five meetings about applying and picking colleges, deciding majors, and applying for scholarships. Look out for these opportunities, through your school's main informational source.

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3. Don't: Say No to fun

Do: Say YES! to football games, hanging out with friends, and cool events

Despite it being a stressful year, and having work to do, it's important to make sure you save time for fun. To help make sure, you get that time in (INCLUDING time for yourself!) schedule it! It sounds funny at first, and it makes no sense, especially if you and your friends are the last-minute planning types. But trust me, as the year fills up, you'll be grateful that your calender says, "Hang out with friends at 3:00pm."

To get on top of the game, sit down with friends (or text them) about when they might be available within the next two weeks or so. Plan movie nights, lunches, or dinners that you can look forward to. And don't forget, throw in a little time for yourself, "Hang out with me, 4:00pm, Tuesday."

Now, you can confidently say 'YES!' to all the fun events.

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4. Don't: Ignore Jobs, Internships, Or APs

Do: Apply for all of the above!

Jobs, educational internships, and AP tests don't seem to have a lot in common. However, there is one thing. Preparation for your future.

And as a junior, there is a lot going on. These three things will get you prepared for the real world; careers, and college education.

When you find a job you are interested in or are looking for one just to make a little extra cash, take these opportunities. You never know when they might show up again! And just like a job, internships are another piece to look out for!

Internships can get you experience in careers you want to pursue in the future. If you want to be a vet, reach out to your local veterinary offices and ask if they have internships you can apply for!

Don't forget to also apply for those AP tests. They tend not to affect your grade, and if you get a score you don't like, the worst thing that will happen is that you just have to retake the class in college. But if you do end up with a passing score (3 or better), then score! You most likely won't have to take that class again.

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5. Don't: Carry Unnecessary items

Do: Only carry what you need

There are so many books, notebooks, pens, pencils, and binders you may need to carry for your junior year. All that can add a lot of weight to your backpack. If you have a locker, try to utilize it the best you can! Visit it in between classes, leave your lunch in there until you need it, even throw in your practice gear.

No locker? Try to downsize. Pay attention to what your teachers say you will be doing tomorrow, and determine what you will need and don't need.

You may not need to carry around that English book. Or even your math notebook, due to a test. It will help you in the long run.

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I hope you enter your junior year with high hopes and excitement for the new school year! Join a new club, make some new friends, or head to the lunch line every Wednesday morning for that chocolate muffin. Find fun in your year, and good luck!

Ava Cox

Writer since Jul, 2023 · 2 published articles

Ava is an aspiring writer with big hopes and dreams. But for now she is just making her way through high school. She loves dance, reading, her dog Hazel, and her family.