Dear Juniors, Dear Juniors-advice for college students during their junior year

You’ve got a lot on your plate. You’re in the home stretch, and yet it still feels as if all the work’s in front of you. You’re still reaching for your desired score on your standardized test of choice. You’ve got to keep your grades up and your class schedule rigorous. Heck, don’t even mention the process of writing college essays and organizing your applications, all during Junior year.

Junior Year Stress

For these reasons, Junior year can be one full of stress, of angst, of feeling stifled by the expectations of others. I felt this way when I was a Junior. Between my normal schedule of school and extracurricular activities and the added weight of the college process, I didn’t feel myself. I became quiet and stolid, and I purposefully kept to myself, believing that all the extra work I had to do meant that I couldn’t spend energy on important interpersonal relationships in my life like I once did. I began to stay up much later in the night to complete all of my work for school and study for the ACT. All of these changes took their toll on my well-being, and that is something that, together, we must prevent from happening to you. 

Remember to keep balance during your Junior year.

You! The bright and creative Junior who loves to dance around the kitchen with their parents on Thursday evenings. You! The quiet philosopher who may not raise his hand too much in class but who can recite quotes from the Iliad by memory. You! The athlete who spends just as much time making sure her lacrosse stick is in pristine shape before practice as she does on homework. We need to make sure that the college process is a welcome and reflective addition to your life rather than a burden that throws it out of balance. In order to do so, I’ve come up with a short list of recommendations for Juniors who are beginning their journey toward higher education.

Keep on doing the things you love

As long as you don’t let the college process wallop them out of you, your passions will carry you through this potentially stressful time by relieving tension and bringing you closer to the core of who you are. When things get tough, it might feel wise to stop attending basketball practice or cancel an oboe lesson or two. And, while this might buy you more time in the short-run, it will dilute the personality and joy of a promising young light in the world. Not only is this a tragedy within itself, but it also is counterproductive to becoming the most attractive college applicant that you can be. 

Budget your time

Even though you are starting to have more commitments that feel mandatory, you don’t need to change your outlook on life all that much from when you were younger. However, you do need to budget your time a little bit more carefully during your Junior year so that you don’t end up somewhere between a rock and a hard place. Maybe you usually have a snack and watch TV for an hour or so after school. You don’t have to cut out this tradition entirely. However, watching for half of your usual time and spending the extra thirty minutes studying for your SAT will have immense benefits down the road without totally disrupting the usual rhythm of your life. Little moments like these are perfect opportunities to budget your time and, thus, blend your new responsibilities with the lived-in feeling of your routine. 

Ask for help

Asking for help is something that I wish I did more of when I was a Junior. At that age, wayward notions of pride can get in the way of useful guidance that would make a student’s life a whole lot easier. Here at Moxie, we pride ourselves on being a trusted voice in navigating the college process. If you want to learn more about how we complete this mission to help students at each stage, don’t hesitate to reach out.