This year’s experience shared with next year’s juniors


Divvya Seernani, Reporter

It’s the end of the school year and we all know what that means – two months of Netflix, sleep, and hours of doing nothing. And if you haven’t figured out by now that I’m joking, you’re doing Clements all wrong.

Let’s be honest, high school has been nothing but a rollercoaster since the moment you stepped your foot inside Clements on the first day. Personally, these last, extremely competitive, three years were a summation of assignments, tests, more assignments, quizzes, stress, extracurriculars – and that’s not even all of it. But as much I can say that I’ve suffered, I’ve definitely learned a thing or two about how to get through it. I mean I just lived through junior year, so you sophomores might want to listen up.

First of all, you have to understand that prioritizing is a key component of surviving junior year. As you progress into one of the most crucial years of your life, before you enter college that is, you have to be ready to sacrifice anything in order to ensure a successful year ahead. Yes, this means having to delete apps like Snapchat, Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram. You may not realize it, but thee apps (games included) consume so much of your time and unfortunately, that is the one thing you will not have junior year. This coming year will be so crucial, you will have to meet deadline upon deadline upon deadline. Understand, however, that this goes far beyond your academic life at school. Not only are you keeping your grades up, but you are also working towards a long list of things:

  1. SAT/ACT.  My suggestion is that you stay ahead of schedule and look into your test of choice early. How do you do this? Go to the College Board and ACT website and begin looking at which test you think suits you better. Once you have that down, start prepping! The good news is that the redesigned SAT mirrors the ACT so prepping for one will have you pretty prepared for the other. So use your summer wisely!
  2. Leadership Opportunities. As you head into junior year, know that this is the last year to make an impression or take advantage of any and all leadership opportunities. Of course I don’t mean last as in the last chance in your entire life, but aside from officer positions, the positions you take on after 11th grade do not hold much weight because you’ll need to start wrapping up on college applications once first semester of senior year rolls around!
  3. Volunteering. Aside from the fact that you should have been volunteering all throughout high school, this is a great year to start if you have not already. Even if you have started but are falling short on hours, this is a great time to catch up, as well. Once you’re a senior, you’ll need to focus on more important things e.g. college essays and your resume.
  4. GPA. Junior year is your last chance to boost your GPA. But keep in mind, by the time sophomore year is over, your percentile is pretty much set. It’s nearly impossible to rise up in the ranks by simply taking a ton of AP classes – which brings me to my next point.

Please, Please, Please don’t get yourself into something you don’t know how to handle. To tell you the truth, there is absolutely no point in taking a million AP courses and getting a B when you could be receiving the same GPA points by getting an A in a regular course. The stress and lack of sleep are a waste of time. For all you GPA obsessive students, colleges do not care about those upper level classes unless you show them that they mean something. For example, taking AP Physics and getting a low B will give you no benefits unless you get a high score on the AP. I do understand that colleges want to see that you have challenged yourself throughout high school, but be practical. It is no longer a challenge if you have a low B or below – it’s just unnecessary stress. If you really want to succeed while challenging yourself, limit yourself to a few AP courses you know you can do well in.  

But the more I think about leaving, I realize that I will miss Clements. Sure, the workload was not fun, but the memories you make will always stay with you. So while you may find yourself dealing with a hectic academic schedule, find time to relax, have fun, and participate in school events!

Stay focused and you’ll do great … just don’t procrastinate!