An Open Letter to Rising Juniors In High School

An Open Letter to Rising Juniors In High School

You'll make it out.
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Dear rising juniors,

First of all, congratulations!! You've made it! You're an upperclassman and halfway through high school, and in 21 months, you will have graduated! What?? That is a serious accomplishment, and I am so proud of you!

But also... now you're a junior. Yeah, I'm sure you've heard all about it - how GREAT junior year is, how much fun and how much of a breeze everything is. Right? (in case you haven't, I have another related article here)

Well, take it from someone who has survived -- it isn't the easiest. In fact, it will be really hard, regardless of your schedule. You will have long sleepless nights where you are staring down a stack of books, and the only thing that will stick in your head is, Why am I here?! Why am I taking these classes?? Can I please drop out and be a stripper??? (and if that's not what is running through your brain, it's probably the lyrics to some song you haven't heard since 2011)

People will heap stuff on you. Seriously, you can't drive your brother to school, meet your boyfriend for breakfast and make the FCA meeting. Your teachers will decide one project isn't enough, so they make it two and a test tomorrow - in three different classes. Oh yeah, you forgot to get all of your in-school service hours for the semester, and you have a math test to make up from when you had a migraine that one time. And student council reallyyyyy needs you to drop off some letters at this radio station in Sandy Springs, can you please???

And finally, you will get that infuriating wave rush over you where you feel like you're running out of time. College in a year and a half??? How do I see my friends, play volleyball and soccer and have a job? And now I have to tour universities? When's naptime? UGH my favorite band is visiting tomorrow??? And does my family even still exist if it's been two and a half months since I've even seen them?? Can we just go to the beach.

But seriously, breathe. All of that is true, and the stress is a thing, but it is not the end-all be-all of your year. From 10,000 feet down, first thing is that it's super cool you're alive. You've been given another year to live and breathe and collect memories, so please don't take that for granted (this is a serious statement here, please remember that it's awesome you're alive). Also, you will be successful even if school is not your strong suit. Don't stress out so badly that you forget your own worth -- there is a job, a family and a future for everyone.

And finally, just stay balanced. Sometimes, you're going to have to choose and say no to something, whether it be going to opening night for a movie in order to study, telling your boyfriend to just Facetime you so that you can have dinner with your mom or even requesting off a few nights from work to just sleep. With so much going on, it is easy to get caught up in EVERYTHING and fall apart without even realizing it, and your mental health is key. With sleep and self-love, you can literally do anything - so please fatten that college resume without hating your life.

Welcome to the upperclassman club!! You've got it from here. And if you feel overwhelmed and lost and scared, just remember that at least, you're not a freshman anymore/yet.

Much love,

A survivor

Cover Image Credit: Lars Larson Show

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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I Took the MCAT and This is What Happened

The MCAT is one of the hardest things I have ever completed in my life, and I still do not know if I passed.

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I started studying for the MCAT during winter break, December 2018, and then I sat for my test on April 13, 2019. Going into my test, I was very nervous. I was scared that I would be late for my test, so I showed up an hour before the doors even opened. I was worried that I would get too hungry during the 8 hour exam, so I brought my whole fridge along with me. Basically, a lot of worrying was going on. However, I began to calm down as all the positive messages from friends and family starting rolling in before I walked into my testing site. Their positive vibes soothed my anxieties, and actually gave me some confidence as I walked into the exam…Then the first section began. The first section one tackles on the MCAT is chemistry and physics (C/P). Though this section had never been my strong suit, I have been able to do okay due to my strengths in chemistry (not so much in physics). Then, the MCAT royally screwed me over by making this section basically all Physics. It wasn't enough that physics passages give me the worse anxiety, but they were so calculation filled that I wasted so much valuable time trying to do math. It got to the point where I just guessed on most of the math questions to get to questions I had a better chance of answer.

I took my ten minute break and felt more exhausted than I ever have in any of the previous practice full lengths I've taken. Thankfully, the next section is CARS, critical analysis and reasoning is my favorite section – and I blew through this with no problems. It was kind of a nice break after the roller-coaster that was the C/P section.

By the end of CARS I was starving and so very thankful for the thirty minute break, but for some reason (because I was scared of running out of time) I went back to start the next section, biology and biochem (B/B), after only 15 minutes. Thankfully! It wasn't the worse decision because the B/B section was not off standard from what I was used to. I actually found many questions to be very straightforward and easy, which is kind of scary.

Finally, my 8 hour exam day was almost over. I just had one more section, and it was the one I was least worried about, Psychology and Sociology (P/S). As a psychology major, I've had to do the least studying for this section, but the MCAT threw things at me that I don't even know how to process. I would read some questions and immediately think of an answer, only for the answer to not be any of the answer choices. I'm really nervous to see how my results turn out for this section next month.

In the end, I put a lot of hard work studying for the MCAT. It is definitely an intimidating task, but it is very much achievable with organization, determination, and large amounts of caffeine. Now starts the dreaded one month wait till I get my results!

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