Rays Reflection - How To Survive Junior Year

Ray’s Reflection – How To Survive Junior Year

Michael Martinez-Melara
Michael Martinez-Melara

Junior year, a lot of people say that it’s the hardest year compared to the others, and they’re not wrong. This is the year when you start preparing for your future whether it’s preparing for college or trade school. The best thing to have in yourlife are good relationships with great friends and your teachers. It can come in handy in a lot of scenarios, because mostly likely you’re going to need help from someone else, whether it’s with a subject or a recommendation letter from a teacher or even just a small favor, you never know when someone else can help you and it better to have a good relationship with others because whether you like it or not, you’re going to need other people’s help during your junior year. 


Another thing that may not seem that big but can heavily affect you is procrastinating. If you constantly put things to the side and not get them done when you can, you’re only hurting yourself with adding more work and then more stress on getting these assignments. Get the assignments done to your full potential, manage your time. I’ve made that mistake before during the beginning of the year thinking that I would have the time but after starting my extra activities with other programs, I started getting behind on work and it was a lot of effort trying to get them all completed on time. 


Depending on what you want to pursue in life, go talk with a teacher who teaches in that field or know the subjects that are needed in them. Like if you want to pursuit a career that in science, It would be good to talk to Mr. Swope  about how it’s like pursuing a career in that field, or Journalism with Scalia or finance with Mr. Wolfe. But always remember that they do have other classes and students that they work with so you would need to be patient with them. 

Addison OGorman
Addison O’Gorman

Most people say that Junior year is the worst year. This is the year when things start to become more serious. You start to prepare for college, loads of decisions need to be made, grades matter the most. But you determine whether that makes or breaks your entire year. It’s all about balance, that does not mean there is no time for fun.

It is so important to stay on top of your work and grades. It may seem hard in the moment, or feel like there is something better to do, but trust me, it is so much easier in the long run to just get the work done right away. You may have an assignment that isn’t due for 3 days, and think that you will just wait and do it because you want to go out with friends. By the 3rd day, you have forgotten about the assignment, it’s harder than you thought, and too late to ask for help. Now you are just stressed and work will start to pile up. Once you put off one assignment, they just start piling up and now you have a ton of missing assignments that are affecting your grade, along with the assignment due right then and that’s where the stress comes. In the moment it might feel better to go out and just “do the assignment later”  but that ends up being so much more work and affects you negatively. If you just sit down and do the assignment right away, it leaves you with so much free time and nothing to worry about. 

It is all about your point of view. Although yes, it is the time to pick your colleges, get all your credits, get your GPA up, etc., it is still so important to have fun. Don’t stress yourself out too much or be too hard on yourself. Just do your best and get everything done when it’s needed. 

Remember, teachers are your friends! They are just doing their job and trying to help you, use it to your advantage and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Although it seems like it sometimes, they aren’t working against you, they are just trying to make you the best version of yourself. 

One of the key things to not only getting through this year, but your entire highschool career is having the right friends. Everyone talks about it but it can’t be emphasized enough. If you have friends who aren’t encouraging you to be your best self and loving you for exactly who you are, then they are not the right people for you. It may seem like the end of the world in the moment whenclosing a relationship, but majority of the time you will end up much happier mentally and physically. When you find the right group of friends, everything changes for the better, so never give up on that. High school is a big change and it’s very easy to be pressured into being someone you’re not. You should never let someone convince you as something you are not. Be authentic.

High School doesn’t have to be all boring and stressful. Make friends, be kind to everyone, ALWAYS have a positive attitude, have fun, and be yourself! 


Cade Scarnovack
Cade Scarnovack

A year ago, I started to hear the upperclassmen talk about how difficult junior year is. It is practically a universal fact. Even though sophomore me knew of this, deep down I didn’t believe it. Today, I look back and realize how wrong I was. The best advice I could give to underclassmen is to do everything you can possibly do.

What I mean by this is to not just do the bare minimum and go through the motions. It is so important to do extracurricular activities. Whether it be sports, volunteering, a club, or all of the above, beefing up your high school transcript is just as important as getting good grades. Furthermore, even if your best is C’s or B’s, a stacked transcript will help you in the future. Extracurriculars show colleges, or the workforce, your different skills and experiences. For example, someone can be really smart and get amazing grades but do no extracurriculars. In contrast, someone with average grades who are a part of extracurriculars like volunteering and/or sports show that person’s ability to work on a team or help their own community. This gives colleges more to go off of as it shows more of a person’s character, and may even be the thing that gets that person accepted. 

Of course, there is more to highschool than just work. A person is only a high school student once in their life. That’s why, no matter how cringy or awkward it is, everyone should go to homecoming and prom. Prom and Homecoming are key events during highschool and everyone should experience it. From the corny dances to ugly outfits, it’s a good idea to get out of your comfort zone and go to these events. Plus, no one wants to tell their kids that they never went. 

The social aspect of high school is a pretty big deal during this stage in life. In highschool, people come and go in someone’s life and relationships change. These are the people that you will be around for four whole years. At the same time, however, none of this really matters in the end. Whether you were popular or not, liked or disliked, none of this has actual meaning in the real world. The highschool drama and bickering may seem important now, but it really isn’t. So, the best advice I could give is to just enjoy the social aspect in highschool because for such a short time in your life, and with people you’ll most likely never see again after graduation, there’s no reason highschool should be such a dramatic experience. It truly isn’t that deep. 

The last piece of advice I can give is to maintain good relationships with your teachers. Teachers are the ones who decide your grades, so having a good relationship with them gives you more help in school. For example, they might be lenient on late work you have, or lessen the workload. Furthermore, some teachers are club leaders or sport coaches and being on their good side will make those extracurriculars more enjoyable. Lastly, teachers are important to your college admissions because they can write recommendations for you.

Kacie Swanson
Kacie Swanson

High school, in simple terms, is four years of learning what choices to make and when to make them. Going from being the top of the school as eighth graders all the way back down the totem pole as a freshman is definitely a new experience and as you go through it, you learn a thing or two or three. Out of all of highschool years, junior year has been the most challenging but it has also taught me the most. Nonetheless, there are definitely things that I wish I knew, or that I listened to at least, going into my junior year.

  1. Don’t slack on AICE classes

If you plan on going for your AICE diploma, I urge you to try your hardest in all of your AICE classes and, as much as you might not want to, to actually take the time to study for the tests. These classes get you free money for college and there’s no reason not to take them. I went into my junior year with two AICE credits since I failed all of the AICE tests I took my sophomore year and I suffered miserably. I had to make them up by taking four AICE classes which meant a whole month of nonstop tests. Don’t make my mistake and save yourself the burnout by just studying for the tests the first time you take them.

  1. Manage your time wisely

Junior year is by far the hardest year in terms of academics and the amount of assignments you have. Usually, junior year is crunch time, trying to get as many credits before your senior year. You have the most demanding classes that consist of more assignments than you thought were possible and each assignment takes longer than ever before. Junior year is all about finding a schedule that works for you early on in the year to set yourself up for success academic-wise while still making time for friends, sports, etc. 

  1. Turn in your assignments on time

This one seems like it should go without saying, but it’s easier said than done in the heat of the year. Each day as you go to class, it’ll seem like you have a new assignment and like they’re all due on the same day. It seems impossible to get them all done in time, but if you just ‘lock in’ for a few hours a week, you can get them all done. It really helps to get as many assignments done on the same day that they are assigned so that there’s no way that they are able to pile up.

  1. Don’t cheat, it’s not worth it

Cheating on a test or an assignment seems like the easy way out, but at the end of the day, you’re gonna suffer the consequences. Getting the answers for the homework assignment you didn’t feel like doing is a good idea at the moment until all of the same questions are on the test and you have no idea what you’re doing. Don’t even think about using ChatGPT junior year. You will get caught and you’ll get the same grade you would have got if you didn’t do the assignment at all. Junior year, you will write more essays and papers than ever and your teacher will know it’s all AI when you start using words that they don’t even know the meaning of. Just do your assignments, it’s really that simple.

In simple words, during your junior year, it’s essential to put forth your best effort and to go the extra mile. In the long run, writing the extra credit essay or studying a little harder for the test might just be what sets you up for ultimate junior year success.

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Cassie Letendre
Cassie Letendre, Associate Editor
Cassie Letendre is a junior at Marco Island Academy and is an Associate Editor for The Wave. In her free time, she enjoys watching countless Taylor Swift Tik Toks and singing her song "All Too Well" (10 minute version). She also enjoys going to the Marriott with her friends and binge watching movies. In her future, she would like to attend college but is undecided on what she would like to pursue.
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