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Dear juniors, it’ll be alright

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Walking into school on the first day of junior year was a nerve-racking experience. I’m sure I speak for many incoming juniors when I say that it is an intimidating year; classes are hard, the workload is heavy and the search for a good college has begun. As I soon found, however, there are a few simple guidelines I could follow to make my junior year as smooth and painless as possible.

The first one is to stay organized. Strangely enough, I came to find that cramming useless papers into my folder and doing APUSH assignments last minute wasn’t great for my grades. What did help was keeping organized with my assignments and which to do first.

I know that this tip is repeated in every class in every school, and the average high schooler is sick of hearing it. But I cannot stress enough how helpful it is to be organized. I stressed less while keeping track of my homework, giving me more time to actually do things that I enjoyed.

Possibly the most stressful element of junior year is the desperate search for college. You’ll be taking difficult classes, the SAT and tours all over the country in order to get into one. My tip to you is to not worry about college. A GPA will not determine your future, as colleges aren’t always looking for the smartest or the most involved.

It is also not necessary to start searching the moment junior year begins. Take your time, do what you feel comfortable with, and don’t outstretch yourself academically. You will find the right college for you. If going to a big state school doesn’t pan out, it’s nothing to be ashamed of and it’s not the end of the world.

My final tip is to find time for yourself. Being on top of your schoolwork doesn’t mean missing time with friends or for yourself. Sometimes you need to ask yourself, “do I need an A on this week’s reading quiz? Or do I need a relaxing evening to regain my nerves for future assignments?” School may not decide your future, but how you treat yourself and the relationships you hold will. As long as you stay organized and have a handle on your schoolwork, feel free to go out and see a movie!

Junior year can be scary, but only because of the importance we all put into it. You should be exploring your future in college and in the real world, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your year and find time for fun. Junior year is about exploration, not exasperation!

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Dear juniors, it’ll be alright