Seniors’ Advice to Juniors

Seniors at NASH give juniors some words of wisdom.


photo by Katie Golden

Junior year is here for half of the upperclassmen at NASH.  Time for AP testing, SATs and ACTs, and, well, just so much homework.

Jeannie Schleppy, Staff Writer

When senior Jill Williams was recently asked to describe her junior year, her reply was immediate: “Can they be vulgar or no?” And then she said plainly, “I dealt with it by crying.”

Junior year is here for half of the upperclassmen at NASH.  Time for AP testing, SATs and ACTs, and, well, just so much homework. But while 11th grade is said to be hardest academic year, senior will readily point out that there are ways to deal with the stress.

“Make sure to manage your time,” Williams added. “Set a plan for yourself on what you want to get done first and when you want to get it done.”

Senior Kate Adams believes that part of the pressure from junior year comes from grade expectations.

“Don’t stress out about it all,” she said, “because while it is important and you shouldn’t not care, a B in an Honors class is not the end of the world. Make sure to experience high school as an upperclassman yourself and have fun rather than studying all the time and missing out.

Adams also pointed out that help is readily available when the stress begins to grow.

“Get to know your teachers, and don’t be scared to ask for help,” she said.

Along with junior-year schoolwork, there are also the dreaded standardized tests — SATs, ACTs, and AP tests.  But seniors who have been through it all have found that those aspects, too, can be manageable if juniors manage their time well.

“I began studying for the November SAT in September,” senior Jiangfeng Chu said. “Try to take either the SAT or ACT as soon as possible, so you can take the test a second or third time or even switch between tests if you don’t like your score.”

For senior Peter Lawless, practice materials and the advice of students who have taken the tests before can be especially useful.

“I took a class and bought a book and took my older siblings’ advice, which in turn helped me get a better score,” Lawless said.   “Tests are intimidating, but with the right preparation and time management, you can get through it.”

Above all, seniors emphasize that it’s important to enjoy junior year, even as the work piles up.

Aside from all of the blood, sweat, and tears of junior year, you also need to have fun,” Lawless said. “There are so many different activities and clubs that you can do this year, so don’t always have your nose in a book. 

Chu was more scientific in his advice. “Avoid falling into the vicious cycle of sleep deprivation,” the senior said. “It may seem tempting to stay up until 12:30 once in a while, but you have to remember that when you’re sleep deprived, you retain significantly less information from classes.  Fortunately, you can reset that cycle during weekends and breaks, but five days can be enough to put you far behind.”

It might not feel like it right now, but junior year goes by fast. With the helpful advice of the senior class, it can be a fun and rewarding experience.