Junior to-do list

Lauren Mister, Editor

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Junior year is comprised of stress, stress, and even more stress. Teachers expect excellence throughout the school year; AP review and tests suddenly come out of nowhere; the SAT is a hurdle taken multiple times throughout the school year. However, if juniors don’t push themselves further, it can spill over into senior year, a toxic choice that can make or break the final year of high school.

At the beginning of the year, seniors have to fill out forms for recommendation letters and college transcripts. Additionally, the prowl for scholarships is coupled with multiple homework assignments, college visits, and studying for unit tests. The added stress of requirements such as the SAT will only prove to test the endurance of incoming seniors. In order to avoid what could be a crippling during the first semester of senior year, there are a few steps to be taken as a junior.

First, research colleges in junior year to find the perfect fit. Tools such as College Board’s “College Search” can help find the school that exactly matches a student’s preferences. By making a list, there is less pressure senior year to pick colleges to apply to in November, which allows more time to perfect essays and for teachers to write appealing recommendation letters.

Second, take the SAT! It is vital to college applications to have taken the test. Although some schools don’t necessarily require the SAT, it is in the best interest of every junior to take it at least once before senior year. Leaving the test for the 12th grade will add unneeded stress. Moreover there is no guarantee scores will be reported before the regular deadlines for college applications. Getting it over with junior year will definitely shorten the to-do list of senior year.

Third, participate in community service in junior year. Many colleges look not just at GPA, but also leadership roles and extracurricular activities. By joining school programs such as National Honors Society or by volunteering at local establishments, students create a diversified resume. Colleges look for traits in prospective students that will enhance their campus; by doing different acts of community service and activities in eleventh grade, it makes students seem more involved and, thus, more attractive to a potential school.

Finally, actively take part in class. Yes, a high grade point average and notable class rank is important, especially on graduation day. However, remaining diligent in class will make for a successful and an equally intriguing atmosphere for student and teacher. No one wants to leave school leaving bad impressions on peers and superiors. Go into senior year with a positive attitude and a willingness to get things done.

Although junior and senior year can become daunting at times, it is important to check as many things off the conglomerative to-do list before entering senior year. It will not only save you time for homework and studying, but it will also make senior year a much more enjoyable experience.

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