As much as you wish it didn’t, this year counts a shit-ton. There is so much riding on the status of your grades when you are in the 11th grade. It gets annoying and as you see the Seniors start to show up in sweats and fail tests with no remorse, it makes you feel like you can too. YOU CANT. Don’t let Senioritis kick in before you're a senior. Coming from someone that was once a Junior, try as hard as you possibly can. Make sure that you don't slack because it is the easier method. Your entire high school career was en route to this year, make sure you work to prove yourself.
2. Slow Down.
As fun as it looks to be in the 12th grade with senior privilege, graduating, going off to college-- there is never going to be a more perfect time to look around and bask in the glory of the NOW. You have enough freedom to go out and have fun, but you have the safety net of another year. You are at the PERFECT in between stage. There will never be a time frame so ideal. You are at the top of the mountain... Almost at the peak, but not quite. You can look back at how far you have climbed and feel accomplished, you can look down and see everything you love, and know it will be there for a little while longer. You can look up and have the satisfaction of knowing that you will be at the very top sooner rather than later. Junior year comes with excitement, sentiment, and pride. Don't take that for granted. Make sure you slow down and realize that this is your life, that this is the perfect middle ground towards where you are going and where you have been.
Don't stress too much. As much as your grades matter, so does your mental health. It isn't worth staying up until 4 a.m. studying if you're going to fall asleep during the exam. There is nothing more important than your mental state. Believe you will do well and you will. Look around, there are about a million kids going through exactly what you're going through. Junior year matters on paper, but you can shred paper and not feel a thing; you can not destroy yourself, throw away your mental faculties for grades, and feel nothing. You are not going to remember tomorrow's exam in 30 years. I promise.
Tests matter. This year matters. But you matter more. Breathe.
4. Be Kind.
This is your last year to make amends before you need to say goodbye. Be kind to the people around you. Make friends with people you never thought you would. Go into your last year of high school knowing that you did everything you could to make others happy. Spread positivity. Bring a smile to someone’s face during a time that it may seem hard for YOU to smile. Find joy in other’s joy. Recognize that there are other people in this world besides yourself. Realize that you have the power to make someone smile. Take advantage of that. Make a name for yourself. Leave a legacy of kindness behind. Go into Senior year being friendly with as many people as you can. Be kind. Be kind to others, and be kind to yourself.
5. Take pictures.
You are going to want to remember this.