Tips for a Successful Junior Year



Person writing down notes on a desk.

By Katelin Chong, Staff Writer

Junior year is notorious for being the most grueling year of high school, and for many, it lives up to its reputation. With an onslaught of challenging classes and a handful of extracurriculars, it can be hard to balance your social life while keeping up with school. Doing well in your junior year is critical, so here are some tips to help you do your best!

  • Have good time management.

Although this is something you should practice throughout high school, having good time management is crucial for your junior year, especially for those taking AP level classes. It can be hard to stay focused with wave after wave of homework being given to you —writing down your assignments on paper or on your phone can help remind you to do your work! Keeping track of when your homework is due and what classes you need to work on will seriously help you survive your third year of high school.

  • Get enough rest.

I cannot stress this point enough — get a good amount of sleep, or at least try to. Pulling all-nighters will only make you feel sluggish and unfocused the following day, so try to get as much sleep as you can throughout the week. This may seem impossible to some people, but trust me, it will make a huge difference in your attitude. Your body and mind need rest after a day of work, and you deserve it, too.

  • Have a set work area.

This actually helps a lot more than you think! As you accomplish your work in one area over and over again, your mind starts to associate that place with working — this is why you should try not to work in bed, since you might find it harder to fall asleep in the place you tend to work. Doing your homework at your desk or somewhere you know you will stay focused will greatly help you keep your attention on the task in front of you. That being said, try to make your space comfortable! No one wants to work somewhere they are uncomfortable, especially not for long periods of time.

  • Stay hydrated.

Although this should be a given, staying hydrated can be difficult when studying for hours on end. Keeping a cup of water or a water bottle on your desk is a simple reminder to hydrate yourself while grinding through your work. Drinking water will help you feel more awake and attentive, so it’s definitely a must when working.

  • Try not to stress yourself out too much.

This tip might seem obvious or annoying, but it is definitely true — stressing yourself out will only make you panic and burn out quicker. Sometimes, the best thing you can do for yourself is to take a step back and take a breather — list out everything you need to do and when you are going to do it. Make a plan you know you are going to follow because that’s the only way you’re successfully going to get work done. Knowing yourself and your limits is key to being productive, especially during your junior year.

  • Take breaks.

My final point: give yourself time to relax. You cannot possibly expect yourself to work continuously; you have to know when to pause and give your mind a break. Reward yourself after you finish a grueling assignment — grab a snack, go on your phone for a bit. The little things are what count when studying, but you have to learn when it’s truly time for a break or if you’re just caving into your impulses.

Overall, junior year is a pretty stressful year for most people. Nevertheless, try to look on the bright side and keep up a healthy mindset — talking to your friends and family, joining extracurriculars, and staying active will also make your third year a bit more tolerable. No matter how difficult it may get, though, stay determined — trust me, there’s a lot more to life than your junior year of high school.