Insider's Guide to High School The Tattoo

Make the most of junior year

SHEFFIELD, Massachusetts, U.S.A. — Did you let your early high school years slip through your fingers? It’s not too late to turn it all around. Junior year in high school can change the outcome of the rest of your life.

For most kids coming into high school these days, education isn’t the main concern. Freshmen in high school tend to devote their time to social interaction and popularity. Who can blame them?

Status is what makes the world.

What these freshmen don’t realize is that high school is meant for preparation. For four years, kids are given the opportunity to prepare themselves for what will come ahead: college, careers, and life.

It is not uncommon for smart kids to bomb their freshmen year in high school. They focus too much on what clothes they are wearing and what they can do next weekend and too little on their education. Sophomore year can easily follow a similar pattern for these students.

For those who let their first two years in high school go, there is still hope. If you know that college is right for you, keep this in mind: junior year is when it really matters.

Colleges love improvement. If your transcript shows that you had consistent Bs and Cs both freshmen and sophomore year but strong As and high Bs junior year, they can see that you’ve taken a step back and realized what is important. By noting such improvement, colleges can see that you can actively turn your bad grades around and work to keep them strong.

This is your final impression. When you send your transcript to your dream college, your junior year is the last set of grades they will see. This is your last chance to impress them. These are your most recent efforts. The strong grades you hold in your junior year will be likely to shadow over your bad grades, turning them into a thing of the past.

Study hard for SATs. If your GPA isn’t impressive, make up for it with awesome SAT scores. Take a class for it and buy a review book. If you have any spare time, open the book and take a practice test. If standardized tests aren’t your thing, explore some extracurricular activities. Join a sports team or try writing for the school newspaper. There are options.

So if you are sitting at home dreading this time of the year again, shake it off. You can change it all in one year.

Just remember: this is your last chance. Make it count!

Amy Gordon is a Reporter for Youth Journalism International.

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