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I overcame junior year

Joined: 10/13/2010
Posts: 2
I am sure I am not alone when I say junior year is by far the hardest year of high school. There seem to be so many more hardships than ever before all thrown together in one year. Some students’ opinions may differ depending on how involved they are, but everyone seems to go through most of the same experiences. Balancing school work, extracurricular activities, social life, ACT preparatory, family, and college searching are some of the complications of junior year. Completing junior year will be my biggest accomplishment yet!
Depending on the classes you take, the material in junior year is not all that bad. The hard part to overcome was the workload. The teachers know that by junior year students should be adapted to high school. They seem to assign a lot more homework, projects, and tests than teachers in the past years. I personally do not think there was a time where I had less than three hours of homework a night during the school year! In the beginning of the year I was very frustrated with the continuous large amounts of homework that I was receiving. I did not think it was going to be possible to correctly and completely finish all my school work every single night of junior year. I thought that as the year went on the work load would slow down, but it only got worse. Throughout the year I became aware of what time management really meant. I quickly had to figure out how I was going to spend each night in order to accomplish everything in one night. I learned that there is no time to procrastinate and you have to stay focused at all times. I will definitely not miss the workload of junior year, but I really have learned a lot along the way.
Extracurricular activities can be very deceiving. Joining multiple clubs and being on a varsity sport is a lot more of a commitment than most people think. This year I was in SPARK, Best Buddies, Cats against Cancer, and I was on the Varsity Poms squad. Going into this year and being involved with all of these activities, I had no idea what kind of a commitment they all were. Varsity Poms was a huge commitment! We had three practices a week, which were each two and a half hours long, and during the winter we had four hour practices on Sunday. On top of all that, each team member was assigned to make up two dances a year, which usually takes about six hours total to make up. I loved being on the team, but it also prevented me from being as involved as I would have liked to been in the other clubs. I often found myself very stressed while trying to attend meeting, make up practices, and even volunteer. I was involved in Operation Dough Nation through P.A.D.S., which I also found it difficult to make time to put a lot of effort into this volunteer opportunity. As difficult as it was being involved in all of these different extracurricular activities, I would not take any of it back. I enjoyed every minute of being as involved as I could be throughout my junior year!
Have some sort of social life may not be as important as many other things in high school, but it should not be ignored. Having the ability to make new friends is going to be necessary for the rest of your life. Friends are there to help you get through all of the ups and downs throughout high school. You do not need to have a huge group of friends, but just having a couple is essential. I have made the most friends junior year just by being out going and talking to people that I would have never talked to before. Even though I was extremely busy, I knew that keeping old friends and making new ones is very important during high school. I always tried to find time to hang out with friends occasionally so that I did not lose touch. I do not know what I would have done without me friends during junior year because they were the ones that made me want to go to school every day. My social life during junior year was extremely important to pursue and was definitely the push I needed to get me through junior year!
The ACT was the one aspect of junior year that I had a feeling I was going to despise, and I was completely right. I had always heard that this test was going to be something that I was going to dread, but I never believed it until I actually experienced it myself. I started ACT preparatory classes during the summer and I currently have a tutor. This is mainly because since each student can take the ACT multiple times, there is always time for improvement. Being able to take the ACT multiple times is both good and bad. It is good because if you do not achieve the score you think you are capable of, there are always more opportunities for you. It is a bad thing because you have an endless amount of time to prepare, which means whenever you are not doing something, you can always be working on ACT preparatory work. Another bad thing about the ACT is that it has taken up a lot of my extra time and effort. I have found that this test is something that is definitely worth the extra effort. Colleges seem to put a large stress on this test in order to get into their school. Achieving a high score is very important to the schools that I would like to attend, so I know that all of my hard work will pay off. After the June ACT, all of my hard work will come to an end, and I will be done with worrying about it. The ACT is definitely one part of junior year that I will be more than happy to have overcome!
Spending time with family this year became very important to me. My family had always been a big part of my life, but this year I realized how much they really meant to me. My parents were extremely encouraging this year with everything that I was going through. They helped me with my school work, arranged college visits, helped me with job searches, and most importantly, backed me up with every decision I made. My sister was an inspiration to me, without even knowing it. She always had a positive attitude that she spread throughout the house, which I definitely needed on those nights I was up extremely late doing large amounts of homework that seemed endless. Both sets of grandparents seemed to give me more advice this year than ever before. I found myself on the phone with all four of them more than ever before! I had always known how great all of these people were before, but over the year I began to appreciate them a lot more. It could have been because I realized that college was coming soon, or it could have been just because I grew up. I honestly do not know what I would have done without my family this year because they were the ones that were with me every step of the way throughout my junior year!
College searching was one of the most stressful experiences of my entire junior year experience. Whenever we had a day off of school, I was always on a college visit. I ended up going on a total of eleven college visits throughout the year. Not only was this chaotic, but I also felt a lot of pressure each time we visited a new school. Knowing that I was going to have to make a decision was really hard on me. I tried to keep reminding myself that I had a whole year before I had to make a final decision, but that never seemed to help. Seeing all of the kids on campus that were extremely happy with where they decided to attend also comforted me a little bit too. Talking with these college students made me hope that I end up loving the school I end up attending as much as they did. Sitting through the extremely long meetings with the college representatives at each school was mainly what made me feel the most nervous. This was because they would all try to sell their school to the best of their ability, and each school sounded perfect. I began to realize that the final decision of there I would like to go to college is going to be a lot more difficult than I thought it was going to be. All of this extra stress was exactly what my parents were trying to avoid by bringing me to multiple colleges, but it did the opposite at the time because I became very overwhelmed. Looking back at the visits not makes me appreciate being able to see so many excellent schools in person, but it still does not make the stress disappear. Visiting multiple colleges and not knowing exactly where I want to attend school in the fall of 2012 was the part of junior year that I disliked the most. Overcoming the large amounts of college visits during junior year is definitely something that I am going to appreciate.
Finishing the last final of my junior year will be extremely relieving. At that time all of the complications of junior year will be over. The hard work that I put into balancing school work, extracurricular activities, social life, ACT preparatory, family, and college searching will all come to an end and hopefully pay off. I will not miss the stressful times or late nights doing homework at all, but I am extremely grateful for all that I have learned throughout the year.
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