Dear Juniors


Ciara Towns, Editor

Dear Juniors,

Everyone warns you about junior year saying it’s the most grueling, definitive year of your high school career. What they don’t warn you about is the decline in motivation, college deadlines approaching at an alarming rate, and finding time to balance your clubs, AP classes, and a social life that infringe on you during your senior year of high school. While these tasks may seem doable, most seniors find it challenging to stay on top of their work. It’s easy to let yourself get overwhelmed and a lot harder to pull yourself out of the endless loop of telling yourself that you’ll “do it tomorrow”. 

The most important, yet most challenging task of your senior year is to apply to colleges. Whether you’re applying to community college, Cal States, UCs, or privates, you want to get ahead and avoid letting the deadlines sneak up on you. The first step of applying to colleges is building your college list. Choosing a career you want to spend years of your life studying for seems crazy, however, by your senior year of high school, you should have an idea of what you’d like to pursue. Don’t worry, the career you choose at 18 doesn’t have to be what you do for the rest of your life. You can always change career paths, so go to college and try different things while taking your general education courses. During the summer of your junior year, you should begin mapping out a schedule for applying to colleges. First, make yourself a college list organizing schools you’re interested in applying to. Check out your stats and decide whether your school is a reach, match, or safety. Reach schools are the colleges with the lowest acceptance rates based on your stats. Match schools are schools that aren’t exactly a guarantee, but a school you’re likely to get accepted to. Lastly, safety schools are your guaranteed admission schools. 

After you’ve made your college list, decide the order of which schools you’d like to apply to first. Safety schools are always good to start with and you can treat it as a draft of your later college applications. Be mindful of deadlines and decide whether you’d like to apply to your school early decision, early action, or regular decision. Early decision is binding meaning that upon your acceptance, you’re required to attend. Make sure you only apply early decision to your top school. Early action is the non-binding agreement. Early action means that you’ve been accepted before regular decision but are not required to attend if you don’t want to. Regular decision is simply a later due date for your application and does not lock you into one school.

College applications aren’t the only stressful thing you’ll come across during your senior year. If you’re involved in clubs or extracurricular activities, you may find it hard to stick through them in your senior year. Don’t stretch yourself too thin, only take on what you can handle. It’s easy to want to take on many leadership roles to enhance your college applications. This is a common misconception since schools look for consistency throughout high school rather than one packed full year. Many students work jobs during their senior year to save money for college. If you’re interested in working, make sure to obtain a schedule that works for your personal and school workload. Taking on too many hours during the week can make it difficult to complete homework, work on college applications, and be involved in extracurriculars.

The key to having a productive and fun senior year is to set a schedule, stick to it, and make time for yourself. Remember, this is your last year at home with your friends and family, make it count!


Class of 2023