5 Tips For Surviving Junior Year Of High School

Updated: Jul 31, 2019

Congratulations! You are technically considered an upperclassman to most. You are 3/4 of the way done with high school after this year. I will be honest, junior year is arguably the most difficult year of high school.

There are many deadlines and commitments you must make in order to graduate on time next year. This guide to give you key tips on how to get through your junior year (you're almost there, hang on)!


1.Take your sat and act... Multiple times

Through several months of hardcore studying and endless SAT Prep books, I only had to take my SAT once, and not even worry about my ACT. This might not be the case for you. I had several friends retake their SAT's and ACT's multiple times to meet the requirements for their desired colleges.

Many colleges also utilize a helpful scoring system called "super scoring", where they will take the highest score from each section of the SAT or ACT from all of the attempts at taking the exams. This could mean you only have to take the SAT or ACT twice, for example, and be done with testing. Be sure to look at your colleges website for more information on this. Not all colleges participate in this type of grading so do no assume that they do so.

Don't feel bad if people around you are not taking the ACT or SAT multiple times. You will have different goals and requirements from your friends as you are likely attending different colleges. Do what will make YOU successful in terms of how much preparation you give yourself for these tests, and how many times you take them.

2. Narrow down your college choice list

This goes hand-in-hand with number one. You do not just want to take the SAT and ACT without having a goal in mind of what you need to score. All colleges have different score requirements for admissions, so by narrowing your college list early, you know what you need to score in order to be highly eligible for admissions.

I would say to narrow your list down to 5-10 schools. Have 2-3 "reach schools" that may be a little harder to get into, 3-5 schools you feel like you have a good chance of being admitted to, and have back-up schools in case life does not go as planned. Having too many colleges on your " apply to " list can be overwhelming, and not to mention, costs a lot of money to apply to.

3. Start identifying possible letter of recommendation teachers

Remember in some of my earlier blog posts where I said be kind to your teachers, this is especially why. Most colleges or college programs require letters of recommendation from previous teachers. Start making a list of teachers who you would want to ask for these letters. Be sure to give them enough heads up, as letters can take awhile to write. Obviously, don't ask teachers that you know wouldn't have nice things to really say about you.

There is a chance a teacher could say no to writing you a letter. If this is the case, still thank the teacher anyway and consider why they would say no. Is it because of behavior or work ethics? If so, start improving upon this, because other teachers you ask could say no as well if this behavior carries into their classes as well.

Always thank the teacher or staff member that writes you a recommendation letter, and perhaps get them a nice gift for doing so.

4. Push yourself with rigorous classes

Continue to take rigorous classes that your school offers. Junior year is often the year that students have the most AP classes or honors classes offered to them. Definitely take as many as you can that you will do well in and have the time for. Colleges want to see that students can push themselves all the way through high school.

Do not burn yourself out with classes however, save time for yourself and family, but still prioritize volunteering, extracurriculars, and advanced classes.

5. consider a job and look into more scholarship opportunities

In a older blog post that was a part of the Tips for High School series, I mentioned looking for a job. Some people may not be old enough their sophomore year to get a job, but junior year is definitely a year when most students can start applying for jobs. Look locally and at some of your favorite places to shop at. I worked at my local gym, and they were very flexible with hours and gave nice pay. Prepare yourself for the interview process by having your parents or siblings ask you questions, and find interview attire to wear. Having a job while being in high school shows colleges that you have work experience, and can balance multiple time consuming things at once successfully.


I hope this post will help you juniors make it through year three! This year will be challenging, but is very rewarding once you make it through!

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