SparkNotes Blog

How to Survive Your Junior Year of High School

Though jmorgan101 forgot to mention ninja drills, the top-secret peril of junior year, we still think this is a pretty good guide. –Sparkitors

So you’re a high school junior. You’re neither the big kid on campus nor an underclassman with an excuse for not knowing what you’re doing.  You have all the high school pressure PLUS the pressure of the almost-college-bound, and you might start to wonder whether there’s a light at the end of this never-ending tunnel. The good news is, you will survive, probably! (This is less likely if you go to Hogwarts or a school for spies.) Here are some tips for getting through the middle child of high school years:

1. Do your work. No, this article wasn’t cowritten by your principal. But if you get the work out of the way now, then you can spend the days before finals driving past the houses of people doing make-up work, laughing at them. Just keep your windows rolled up—make-up work makes people violent.

2. Take the SATs and ACTs now. Just do it. When you take them in advance, you have the option of retaking them later. This decreases your chance of seizing up from stress and choosing to write a free-form essay on butterflies instead of following test instructions.

3. Deal with your parents. They’re almost as stressed thinking about you going to college as you are, because nobody knows better than they do that there’s a 50 percent chance you will forget how to fold a shirt, turn on a faucet, and heat up soup within 15 minutes of being dropped off at your freshman dorm. This is on top of their general, daily parental worries (401Ks, etc.). Just cut them some slack.

4. Clubs. Everyone is doing it, and you can, too! Just start joining clubs like crazy, why not? From typical (chess) to oddball (marching chess), there’s a club for just about everyone. And if there’s not one for you, express your frustration by starting an angry rock band.

5. College. Get started on the applications now. If you think junior year is stressful, just wait till you’re a senior!

How will you survive being an upperclassmen?

Related post: Why I’m Scared Senseless of Senior Year

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