Top 10 Things I Wish I Knew at the Start of Junior Year

Class of 2020 Senior, Mary Fouad, shares her top ten pieces of advice for Juniors.


1. Relaxation is the most important skill.

Sure, public speaking could also open millions of doors and carry you to your dream job but who wants to start balding at seventeen? It’s a stressful year; you’ll easily and quickly burn out if you don’t take some time to relax from your six-hour study group at the library.

2. The most challenging classes are often the most rewarding.

This is the best year to push yourself out of your comfort zone. By the end of the year, you’ll notice that the challenging classes taught you more than just cramming the day before the test; those classes will teach you real-life lessons, they will teach you about yourself and your future career. However, for the difficult classes to do as I promised, you must be ready to receive those lessons and go in with an open, accepting mind.

3. It’s okay to get C’s sometimes.

The first marking period will, by far, be the most difficult one (only because you’re going to need time to adjust to your new classes). It won’t be the end of the world if you notice a few C’s here and there. It may be helpful to you in the long run; failing will urge you to improve your study methods and ensure success in the future. The grades will work themselves out; just focus on learning.

4. It will be easy to make friends. Really, don’t stress about this one.

By now you’re probably aware that you lose a lot of friends during high school, but it’s easy to make new friends this year, especially if you spend most of your time at the library as I did. You’ll surely form strong bonds with classmates, especially if you offer to tutor them (which would also help you retain information). Amid the chaos, radiate calm and peaceful vibes to ease your anxiety-filled classmates, then BOOM. Friends. You’re welcome.

5. Relying on the school’s support system will provide you with much-needed guidance. You don’t have to do it all on your own.

Please remember that your counselors are here for you. It might be intimidating or scary asking for support but once the initial scare is over, you’ll find that talking to someone about your stress will ultimately be very relieving. Building that personal connection with your school counselors or even teachers can end up saving you from a fried brain in June.

6. The textbooks are and always will be your best friend.

Taking notes and closely reading your textbooks will give you all the information you need for tests and quizzes. This studying method will take a lot of energy but if done right, you’ll start seeing A’s piling up and your confidence will grow. You can even save those notes to study from during midterms or finals.

7. Your teachers truly care about you. Reciprocate it.

It’s easy to forget that your teachers are humans too and that they actually want you to succeed. Be nice, greet them politely, build a relationship with them and most importantly, don’t be afraid to ask them questions. You’ll want to make a good impression, especially when you’re asking for letters of rec later in the year.

8. Take some practical classes.

“Adulting” is an inevitable nightmare that’s merely two years away. So as boring as personal financing sounds, it might end up saving you.  Arts courses are amazing, but make sure to also take something that will prepare you to “adult.”

9. Be more involved in school activities.

Our school has so many clubs that it can be intimidating, but it offers enough diversity to ensure that you’ll be interested in at least one club. Whether it’s honor societies, SAVE club, student council or anything else from the never-ending list, pick a club (or a few) and devote some of your time to them. Your college resume will thank you.

10. Manage your time. Balance is key.

Junior year just comes down to your ability to stay balanced. You’re going to have a hundred and one things on your plate and it will be difficult at first, but you’ll be okay. It’s not as bad as it sounds. Just stay motivated, stay balanced and manage your time wisely. The year will be over before you know it.

If this article scared you a little while simultaneously comforting you, then I succeeded; but be confident Juniors. You’re going to kick this year’s butt.