How to Best Prepare for Junior Year This Summer

How to Best Prepare for Junior Year This Summer

I ❤️ high school juniors. I’ve taught 8-12 grade, but 11th grade is my jam. Juniors are close enough to the end that they are serious about school, but far enough from finishing that they stay focused.

But junior year can be stressful. For many students, this the first year of many AP or IB courses – the rigor just jumped up. You’re reading more, writing more, and thinking way harder than in the past.

And the extra-curriculars! Not only are you involved in clubs, but you’re starting to take on leadership roles in those activities. Add in a part-time job for many and you have way less free time than you used to! 

This is the year that “counts” for college admissions. These are the last grades college will see when they are considering your application. Yikes! And speaking of college, this is the year you start “the search.”

If I just gave you a panic attack, it’s time to take a deep breath. Because you can prepare for all the crazy in junior year the summer before. 

How to Prepare for Junior Year in the Summer

Get a planner

I know, the school has given you a planner every year, but you barely use it. Instead, find a planner that works FOR you, not against you. (I love this one and this one!)

Once you have a planner, set it up this summer. Yes, before school even starts. Use it when making goals and setting dates for all the steps below.

Pick your priorities

Junior year can be overwhelming, especially if you’re trying to do all the things. (Hint: you can’t do it all.) So, it’s time to set your priorities and focus on the most important things for you. Setting priorities will allow you to spend time on the things you most need to or want to.

Think about the Future

What do you want to do after high school is over? Start working? Join the military? Attend a community college? 4-year college? Gap year?

There are so many possibilities! Sit down with Google and your parents to start the discussion about what happens after high school. When school starts, make an appointment with your school counselor and/ or college counselor to get that plan in motion.

Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash

If you’re thinking about college, start a list of possible schools. Big things to consider:

  • Location
  • Size
  • Cost
  • Your possible career paths
  • Admissions stats 

Start studying

This is prime time to prepare for standardized exams, namely the SAT or ACT.  Did you take one of these in school last year? If so, find out which one and your score. Use that information to study for the exam you will take this fall. You will thank yourself in September.

Complete summer assignments

If you have summer assignments, please don’t wait to the last second! Turning in an amazing or even just decent, summer assignment starts the year off strong and makes a good impression on your new teacher.

Taking some steps this summer to organize and prioritize will save you time and stress this coming school year.

What do you think is the most important way to prepare for junior year? Let me know in the comments below!

Related Posts: How to Spend the Summer Before Senior Year, How to Actually Use Your Academic Planner, The Best Academic Advice I Ever Received

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