What I Wish I Knew Before Entering Junior Year by Linda Contreras
Coming into high school was a complete transition from the small middle school I went to this big new school where I was no longer the superior 8th grader but rather the small 9th grader at the bottom of the high school chain. However, because of #ICANHELP- making this transition wasn't too difficult for me personally as I still kept my close friends and just continued to get the gist of what was going on in high school. #ICANHELP provided me with new social media information and ways to protect myself as an incoming high schooler. As a freshman, you hear a lot of horror stories about high school and things you should be ready and prepared for and the biggest horror story of all is junior year. This so dreaded year began to rapidly approach and all I did was worry about what everyone else told me. Questions like, "What if I fail every class?" or "Will I even sleep?" began to fill my head. Well, I'm here to be a complete mythbuster and say junior year isn't as terrible as everyone makes it out to be, and there are some things I wish I knew before entering junior year.
Don't let what people say get to your head.
I struggled with this a lot since people around me constantly told me how important junior year is and how stressed they constantly were. Junior year is incredibly important and I'm not trying to undermine that, however don't get into a mindset where you base your worth off of junior year and how it's going. For the first month of junior year, I doubted myself and my ability to take on what I had put on my plate since I made myself believe if I don't do amazing this year my life is over.
However after a few weeks, I realized junior year isn't that hard at all. All of my classes had my friends in them, and the subjects weren't hard and I honestly even enjoyed learning it. Math had always been my weakest of strengths so you can imagine how terrified I was walking into fifth period AP Statistics, but it's not bad at all. I made myself believe every class was going to be so hard because that's what everyone told me but you get out what you put in, and if you try to enjoy it, that's what matters.
This one sounds silly, huh? Sleep is such an easy thing to do but sometimes you pull all nighters to finish homework or study. This is what I do except it's almost everyday, getting approximately 6-7 hours of sleep per week isn't the healthiest route. One makes themselves believe that you learn more if you stay up all night studying and working, because that's the whole stereotype behind it. "She pulled an all nighter and got an A!" Comments like these just lead us to believe no sleep equals good grades, but it's actually the exact opposite.
Turns out sleeping actually helps you academically since you just feel more rested the next day and have a better mental capacity to process and obtain more information. Rather than killing yourself due to sleep deprivation, find the work habits that work best for you. Whether that be flash cards, studying with friends, or just looking through notes; keep doing what works for you in a timely manner. If you find yourself staying up late, think about what you do during the day. I used to stay up late to do homework but then I realized every day when I got home I would eat then take a nap. Taking a nap would take 2 hours out of my day I could've spent doing that work so be sure to prioritize what you have to do, it'll give you more time to sleep!
High school itself is a new journey in your life worth enjoying to the fullest. Academics should always be your number one concern, but also remember not to deprive yourself of the fun moments these next 4 years will hold for you. They say high school passes by fast and it really does, so my advice for junior year and high school in general is live in the moment, enjoy the memories but continue working harder each day.