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Some words of advice to incoming juniors

Juniors+listening+to+announcements+during+homeroom.
Juniors listening to announcements during homeroom.

Juniors listening to announcements during homeroom.

Monika Juras

Monika Juras

Juniors listening to announcements during homeroom.

Monika Juras, Opinions Editor

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Dear Class of 2019,

With the onset of yet another school year, you might find yourselves overwhelmed with personal ambitions and expectations that you feel the need to meet as a junior.

We’re nearly three weeks in, and some of you might be faring relatively well, while others are already feeling the strain of AP classes, extracurriculars, and/or sports.

On top of that, you might be intimidated by rumors that paint 11th grade in a terrible light, whether they be claims that junior year is going to be the hardest year, the most stressful year, or the worst year in general.

I’d be lying if I said that junior year was enjoyable and fun in its entirety.

During the 2016-2017 school year, I experienced numerous low points and rough patches; however, just like there might be some negative aspects of junior year and life in general, one must always consider the positives.

met so many new people, formed so many new friendships and bonds, and became acquainted with students that have become some of the most important individuals in my life within a span of a few months.

I tried to get involved and get out of my comfort zone, and managed to become more outgoing and open-minded. I began writing for the newspaper, I was a part of the math team, I joined NHS.

I was able to become more comfortable with my teachers, peers, and school. I did well academically, and although I made mistakes and harbor regrets about some dumb choices, junior year was one of the greatest years of my life.

Based on my experiences, here are some key tips and general advice that helped me a great deal:

  • Don’t let grades rule your life—a C isn’t the end of the world, just like an A+ doesn’t mean you understand everything perfectly. Whether it’s your trig, calc, physics, or history class, value understanding over the actual grade. (Trust me, I know it’s not as easy to do.) Once you establish a good understanding of the subject(s), the grades will come.
  • Don’t overload on APs or extracurriculars. Don’t hesitate to challenge yourself or explore subjects that interest you, but also be aware of and establish your limits. Don’t be afraid to drop a class you know you can’t handle, or leave a club you don’t have time for or don’t care for.
  • Take advantage of events such as College Night, they really are insightful. When colleges come to visit you from across the country, USE that opportunity to at least grab a pamphlet or speak with a representative.
  • Now, what everyone seems to fear—college. Word always goes around that by the end of the year you have to know what you want to major in and where you intend to go. Although it’s ideal to know what you want to do and where you want to do it, you don’t have to have your career or college plan set in stone at the conclusion of junior year. Take some time to explore your interests and have fun.
  • Do your homework and utilize your resources! I can’t stress enough that doing homework or practicing and applying what you learn is key to learning the material as well as remembering it in the long run. If you need homework help or more clarification on something, stop by the SSC in the media center and talk with a teacher, or even reach out to your own teacher(s). Don’t be afraid to ask questions!
  • Most importantly, don’t let school consume you. However, I’m aware that this is easier said than done. Go on walks, exercise, do some community service, socialize with others, dedicate some time to relaxing or having fun. Don’t just waste away at your iPad/computer screen daily.

A lot of you might not know what to expect this year, but just know that perseverance is critical; whether conflicts arise at school or in your personal life, it’s important that you don’t let that hold you back from being successful.

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Palatine High School's student news site.
Some words of advice to incoming juniors