The Student News Site of Henry M. Gunn High School

Michelle Koo

Junior advice: Annika Bereny

Welcome back, class of ‘23! The last time most of you were on campus was almost two years ago, so I’m sure junior year terrifies you. Junior year is tough, but news flash: it’s not the end of the world. You’ve probably been told that you won’t get accepted into colleges unless you’re the president of seven different clubs, run a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and have cured polio by your senior year, but that’s a lie. Choose a few extracurriculars you actually enjoy and stick with them. Someone once said that a jack of all trades but master of none is still better than a master of one.

In the long run, however, it’s far healthier to be a master of the one or two trades you truly love. Remember, you only have 24 hours in a day, and you need at least 16 of them for school and sleep. Speaking of school, for many of you, this may be your first year taking Advanced Placement classes. They’re definitely going to be difficult, but they’re not impossible. Also, they’re weighted! Even if you don’t reach the grade you want, it will still be counted as the letter grade one step above. If you get a C, it’s a weighted B; a B is a weighted A; and an A is where students start to go above the 4.0 mark.

A word of warning: while I’m sure you all have procrastinated on studying in the past, it will only hurt you this year. Study while you learn concepts to cement them, and watch review videos on YouTube.

At some point in the year, you’re going to want to compare yourself to your classmates. Why aren’t they struggling in this class? How did they get that on their first SAT? Is it me? Am I not smart anymore?

Stop it.

This thinking will never get you anywhere. It will just make you want to roll up into a ball and cry about how college is
a scam. This year, more than ever, will try to convince you that your worth is defined by your academic achievements, but repeat after me: “I am more than my grades, and if colleges disagree, they’re shallow anyways. No amount of pretty neo-Gothic architecture can change that.” Finally, enjoy being an upperclassman. You’re one of the big dogs now, and that comes with perks. Spend your free period getting food. Go all out for dress-up days. Talk to new people in all of your classes. Junior year will be hard, but it will also be over in the blink of an eye; make the most of it.

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