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Published on November 13th, 2017 | by Luna Kohut

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The Newspaper’s Seniors’ Advice for Juniors

Gigi: Juniors, stay focused on your schoolwork but remember to make time for your friends and family. Appreciate the people in your life because nothing lasts forever. Don’t engage in activities you don’t enjoy because you think it will make colleges like you. Find something that inspires you, get involved and make every day count.

 

Yasmin: It’s easier said than done, but try to minimize the amount of stress you put on yourself everyday. Junior year is infamous for being the hardest year of high school, but nothing compares to the havoc of the first semester of senior year. College applications take as much time as an extra AP class (or two), and you will feel a lot calmer going into the year if you have your personal statement draft complete by the end of summer. Have something you can resort to for 15 minutes a day, like a book for fun or an instrument, for it provides a healthy break from the rigor of school work.      

 

Dylan: Have a plan for college! Know what you would like to study and where you would like to go. Having a plan and a direction ensures that you will not go off track and will relieve the stress of feeling directionless. Feel free to change it if it doesn’t feel right.

 

Aidan: Get a jump on your college apps over summer and don’t try to do everything at once. If you sacrifice a little bit of time now, your senior year will a lot easier. Make sure not to overwork yourself though, balance work and fun.

Katie: Take the SAT/ACT early in your junior year, especially December, January and/or February because the curve, at least of the SAT, is higher and you’ll have more freetime first semester to study hard for the SAT/ACT. Take the Math 2 subject test after you take the first semester of precalc/calc A. Don’t wait until your late junior and early senior year, because you’ll have to restudy all the things you learned in first semester right during finals and AP season. Get ahead early; it might suck while you’re doing it, but when everyone else is stressing about taking the SAT/ACT and SAT Subject Tests, you’ll feel relieved that you’re already done.

 

Tommy: Don’t overwork yourself and stay focused on the things that really matter. Useless people hold you back, so ignore them and find some people who know more than you. Learn from those people and then you become the best. Also your opinion doesn’t count in the real world.

PaulineFind your niche. While having many interests allows you to experience and dabble in a variety of different things, having a focused interest is crucial to college applications. That’s not to say that you can’t have more than one, but try to keep your interests down to at the most three. If you’re having trouble figuring out what your niche is consider the classes you excel in or enjoy the most. If you’re favorite classes are AP Bio and Math, you might want to major in a STEM field. From there, you should fit your extracurriculars and class schedule to your interests. For example, someone who wants to major in STEM might enjoy doing an internship at a lab or tech company. In turn, having a focused interest rather than many interests will allow your application to stand out, thus increasing your chances of getting into the college of your choice.

Kyla: Try to take four years of a foreign language and the SAT Subject Tests at the end of junior year. Help others with school work and standardized tests by tutoring or leading study sessions. You’ll be able to understand the material more by teaching and you’ll get to spend time with friends!

 

Hannah: Don’t let the intimidation factor prevent you from learning about colleges. You might think that you have a set idea of the college environment you want, but you would be surprised how just a little bit of research and knowledge can change that, so research your colleges, even the ones you don’t think you’d be interested in! Be open to new ideas, and don’t let anyone but yourself make these decisions for you. After all, you’re the only one that is going to be there for yourself your entire life. You have your own back and know what’s in your best interest over anyone else. College apps are stressful, so make sure to cut yourself some slack and take necessary breaks, because they are also an opportunity! And remember, no matter how much you assure yourself you won’t procrastinate, you still will! I know how dreadful anything and everything related to college is, but telling yourself you’ll start early isn’t enough (at least for me). FORCE yourself, because the payoff will be worth it.

 

Luna: Make connections with your teachers! Even if you don’t have questions about the class just go in during office hours and start a conversation about your favorite book, scientific theory or whatever excites you. Teachers will notice those who put in that extra time, and it will give you practice for developing relationships with professors in college. Establish your voice as an engaged student to improve your chances of getting that letter of recommendation.  

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