Junior Year: An Open Letter to Incoming Juniors

Hello, upcoming Juniors! You’ve probably already heard the horror stories. And no doubt your parents and older siblings and guidance counselors have already instilled within you their endless mantra of “Junior year is the most important year”. This may be freaking you out a little about what is to come. It’s true, Junior year seems intimidating. It’s full of standardized testing and AP classes and lots and lots of college preparation. But don’t fear. As a rising senior myself, I offer my sagely wisdom to you.’  I will address topics from how to prepare for this upcoming school year to how to end the year ready to tackle the college application process; all from a student’s perspective. I hope you may find my blogs and advice useful to you. As summer is just beginning, this first installment will be about how to best prepare for the year ahead and also be productive this summer. ‘ Let’s begin!

So it’s the summer of Junior year and maybe you’re prepared for a glorious two months of COD or going to the beach or binge-watching Netflix. In other words, you plan on just relaxing and catching up on some sleep. Which is completely understandable. However, in you case you are unaware, High School summers are actually quite important times. They are a great time to volunteer or work, and colleges,’  believe it or not, are interested in what you do with such free time. So what should you be thinking about this summer? Well, here are some options.

In terms of working, earning a little cash with a summer job not only goes into your allowance, but it also teaches the valuable lessons of responsibility and cash management. There’s something exhilarating about getting your first pay check. Furthermore, having some sort of working experience before college, in my opinion, is a very good thing. Colleges also recognize an applicant that has had working experience. If you do want to find a job but are unsure where to look, first think about what kind of work you want to do. Many High Schoolers work at restaurants, movie theaters, or retail stores. Do some research as to what places nearby are hiring. If you are interested in a job, call or talk to one the managers. Most likely, you will need to come in for an interview. Some employers may ask for a resume as well, so be sure to have one handy. If you don’t get the job, hey, it’s ok. Try somewhere else. If you do, make sure you can work the hours that are best for you.

If you want to spend your summer in a productive way, but working doesn’t sound appealing to you, volunteering your time is also an option Many places could always use volunteers, from local pet shelters to local libraries. Again, call or visit the location to get more information. Try to find a place or cause that you want to genuinely support. For example, I have volunteered weekly at my local library before because I have always wanted to be a part of place that makes books and learning accessible to everyone, especially children. If you feel strongly about something or just want a new experience, finding a place to volunteer is a great idea. Also, volunteering can help you with potentially choosing future careers.

Keep these tips in mind and hope you have a great summer!

Sincerely,

Carolyn

As seen above, the summer of Junior Year can get pretty busy, but it’s just a foreshadowing of what is to come. This is going to be the first of what I hope will be a series of posts directly addressing Juniors and also tying in how librarians can help them through such a hectic year. Over the summer, many Juniors are looking for ways to get involved with their communities, so encouraging teens to volunteer at library events or even at the library itself is a great opportunity to start off a summer! Stay tuned for future posts about summer reading books for school, SAT prep and more, and most importantly, how librarians can support Juniors as they tackle these topics.

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