Advice for Rising Juniors


1. The most important piece of advice I can give you is to not psych yourself out. When I was a sophomore and I heard the juniors neverending complaining about their homework, their GPA, their resume, their extracurriculars… I kinda set myself up to imagine Junior year as this horrible, terrible thing. The truth is, if you stay on top of it, it’s about the same as any other year. The best part about it is you can choose how many or how few regular, honor, or AP classes you take, meaning that you really control your level of stress. To be totally honest, I think Covid also helped make our Junior year easier because 1) maybe we got a bit more sympathy from our teachers and 2) we only had a max of four academic classes at a time. I know that if I had taken all of my classes at the same time, I would NOT have been mentally stable right now. That leads me to my second point:

2. Don’t select a crazy amount of honors or AP classes just because they look good on your resume. I’ve found that there is a BIG difference between classes considered Honors or AP freshman or sophomore year and the “real” ones that Juniors and Seniors take. It really becomes a college-level class and you’re expected to learn quickly, understand the material, set aside a solid amount of time each night to study or complete homework, and that the classes themselves will often leave your brain feeling fried. I don’t say this to scare you, but rather to encourage you to choose the classes you genuinely find the most interesting – if you hate Science but you take AP Bio, it is gonna be a long, hard year. But if you like Science, you may love it! I guess all I’m saying is that a few extra letters on your resume is not worth it if you wake up every day absolutely dreading your advanced classes; choose advanced courses that you like, regular courses to receive the credit.

3. I think I said this last year, too, but I find it really important to become involved in at least 1 thing outside of Bancroft. Not that Bancroft is not an amazing place, but you can often become so hyper-focused that you forget one or two buildings aren’t your entire life. For me, I’ve loved playing Club & Travel volleyball, volunteering nearly every weekend either with community service or at my church, as well as trying to carve out some time for myself. Freshman year I was so stressed about being involved with curriculars and extracurriculars at Bancroft, which is important, don’t get me wrong, but I forgot that the world is so so much bigger than what you got on a math quiz or who said what to whom.

4. Lastly, I really want you to enjoy your junior year, whatever that looks like for you. I can honestly not believe that I am going to be a senior next year, and this year, although it has been crazy, has absolutely flown by. Whether you take art classes you’re really into, try a new sport, or volunteer, make this YOUR year. Do what you love, and I promise you’ll have a great year.

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