Surviving Junior Year: Advice from Seniors


Jackson Olenick, Staff Writer

Junior year: a whirlwind of extracurricular opportunities, changing social scenes, new and exciting classes, and the dreaded standardized tests. Although this may seem stressful and taxing, the current seniors at LFHS guarantee that this year will be fulfilling and exciting- as long as you make the best of it.

Every high school experience is made up of three different facets: coursework, extracurriculars, and the relationships that you have with friends and family. 

However, during junior year, a new element of your high school experience gets added: standardized tests. Whether you choose the ACT or the SAT to take, this new experience is often met with animosity and disdain from high school juniors across the country. If you commit to it and try your best, your hard work will pay off.

Claudia Delhey said, “Standardized testing isn’t everything, but it can help set yourself apart from other students. Now that many things have changed with Covid-19, not as many kids are not submitting scores. I suggest for juniors to disregard this and keep working hard to get those scores up because this can push you over the edge to get into your dream university. It’s not easy, and it’s a lot of hard work. If you do bad your first time, that is completely normal, and you need to expect immense room for growth.”

“The first time I took the ACT, I was extremely discouraged with my result. I kept working hard and studying, and my score is currently 6 points higher than the first one I took, with only room to improve. With hard work and determination, your score may be able to open doors for you.”

A more familiar facet of the LFHS experience is also presented during junior year: extracurriculars. This time, there are leadership opportunities in clubs and sports, as well as new programs for upperclassmen to take part in. Some examples include Link Crew and National Honors Society.

“Participation is a huge part of junior year; you only have two more years left to figure out what your interests are. Make sure to sign up for every club, every sport, every extracurricular that you could find remotely interesting,” senior Elsa Goldsberry said. 

“Maybe you will like it and maybe you won’t, but that’s okay because it allows you to understand what interests you. Junior year, to me, was the year that I figured out how to manage my time because you are trying to balance so many things. And as stressful as it sounds it truly isn’t, and it will be one of the best years of high school if you let it be!”

Another aspect of junior year of high school that may be troublesome is balancing rigorous and more difficult classes. As a junior, you have a myriad of honors and AP-level classes that you have the option to take. 

Although this may sound tedious, senior Charlie Weisberg said, “Don’t be afraid of utilizing the resource centers and write your assignments down it keeps you organized and task-oriented.” 

Additionally, senior Juliana Finley said, “make sure that you stay organized with everything. Different folders for each class, writing down assignments, and due dates. If you know when you need to get things done, you will feel more in control of everything, and will most likely become more efficient with your time as well.” 

“I also recommend taking the time to ask questions or go in for extra help. A genuine understanding of the material is very important for success, especially when you have a lot going on. If you missed something in class or just had an off day, extra help will point you in the right direction,” Finley said.

With all of that classwork, extracurriculars, and time spent studying for the SAT or the ACT, making time for out of school activities seems impossible. And yet, maintaining relationships is one of the most important parts of junior year, even if it may be challenging at times to balance all of these things at once. 

“Junior year means that you are coming close to the end of high school. It’s such a busy year with classes and starting ACT prep and college stuff, but don’t forget to still go out and have fun. Try to keep a good balance of studying, but also making time for your friends,” senior Rory Summerville said.

“It goes by faster than you think! Trying to balance is really important. I feel like I spent so much time worrying about school and I didn’t cherish my time with friends,” Summerville said.

Overall, junior year is a challenging yet important chapter in your high school career. 

Although there may be more elements to balance in your life than ever before, as senior Juliana Finley said, “Junior year takes a lot of hard work and dedication, but you have to remember that in the end, it will all be worth it!”