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The Transition into Upperclassmen

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As the first quarter of the school year is already coming to an end, the students of John Jay have gradually gotten comfortable filling their new roles in each grade. By now, the freshmen are used to a new school and the seniors have gotten the hang of applying to colleges, but the most drastic change of all is the transition from sophomore to junior; from underclassmen to the praised role as an upperclassman.

 

It’s easy to think that this change isn’t too dramatic, as the assumption is that the difference between sophomore and junior year is that there are a few more tests here and there, but adapting to this change can be a big slap in the face as junior year is all about time management.

 

As we get older, life gets more and more busy. Applying to college gets closer every day and many juniors wish to fill their schedule with as many extracurriculars as possible. With the addition of Driver’s Education, which sucks up three hours from the week, relaxation time is scarce. Being able to balance studying, clubs, volunteering, and time spent with friends is quite a challenging task as it may seem like there aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done.

 

While I may have three more quarters of this jam-packed year to go, I have learned a few things that have helped me make it better.

 

One: Pick extracurriculars that you have an actual interest in. If you’re spending all of your time in clubs that have no meaning to you and feel obligatory to be in, something has to change. Participating in the field of your interest will transform that dreaded extra time spent at school into a chance to enjoy yourself and get rid of stress while simultaneously showing colleges what really peaks your interest.

 

Two: Put your health first. This is especially important during this year of high school as many can forget that grades aren’t the only thing that matter. Spending an hour or two at the gym will not put you at risk of failing any assignment. Exercise will boost your energy, enabling you to focus better and produce higher quality work.

 

Three: Section off time devoted specifically to doing homework and studying. It’s quite easy to say, “Oh, I’ll watch an episode of Netflix while I take notes on this textbook chapter,” but in some cases, multitasking doesn’t actually save time, it wastes more time because it takes longer to work on two things at once. Spending a few hours at the local library to power through that stack of homework can really make a difference in getting things completed.

 

Factoring these essential tips into your day can make a great impact on both your grades and your physical/mental health. While these suggestions worked really well for me, it is important to find your own personal approach to maintaining a busy schedule, as everyone works best under different conditions. Good luck to all!

 

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The Transition into Upperclassmen