Sophomore Colin McEwin works on his homework during Homeroom time.

Before I start this letter, I hope everyone who is a sophomore or younger gets a chance to read this. Your junior year is the most important year of your high school career, and I hope everyone treats it seriously. Now that I got that out of the way, I’ll begin.

Dear future juniors,

I am writing to you in hopes of providing you with tips and advice on how to survive your junior year. As I said above, your junior year is the most important year of your high school career. You begin your college search, you start preparing for SAT’s and ACT’s, and you are filled to the brim with homework assignments. I know you probably want to pull your hair out and scream just thinking about it, but it is all worth it. Sophomore year, you think you have it all figured out and you’ll be fine going at the same rate, but you need to wake up and smell the roses.

Your junior year requires more effort and energy than your freshman and sophomore years combined. One of the biggest pieces of advice that I can give you (which is something you should already know) is to do your homework. Not doing your homework is the biggest grade killer that I have ever experienced. In most classes, you might be able to squeak out a B just from doing your homework and doing at least average on tests and quizzes.

Another big aspect of your junior year is your junior service project. For the project you are expected to complete forty hours of service helping a vulnerable population (children, homeless, elders, etc.). One of the biggest things I have noticed from this project is that people dread doing their service. They don’t give the experience a chance and just groan at the number of hours. Please be open-minded to this project; you might fall in love with serving others and may want to keep serving them. I myself was reluctant about the idea at first, but I went into my service at Charlestown Retirement Community open-minded and fell in love with volunteering there. Oh, and make sure you get your volunteer contracts on time; it is not worth it to fail Theology in the first quarter. In short, do your hours and try to enjoy it. You will not regret it.

Sophomores gather at lunchtime in the cafeteria.

Probably the the most significant part of your junior year is the junior retreat. Now, I can’t say too much about this because everything is a surprise, but just be open with everyone and yourself. Don’t try to plan with your buddy to be on the same retreat, because that takes away the purpose of the trip. Trust me, you’ll walk out of there with more friends then you had walking in there. Now that’s really all I can say about this confidential event, but trust me. It can be great, if you participate and allow it to be.

In your junior year, you also have a little more control over your courses, primarily electives, history, and science.

  • I’ll start with electives. Let’s say you haven’t taken your fine arts credit and you know you can’t draw, so you decide to take Graphic Design because you think it will be an easy A. Well, sorry to break it to you, but no class is an easy A. I’m in no way saying not to take this class, because it’s freaking awesome. Mr. Foti expects a lot, and he finds a way to pull out a side of his students that they never knew they had. He makes everyone keep digging deeper, which also makes the pieces ten times better. This class is worth it.
  • If you have taken two years of a language already and want to branch out, look no further than Latin I. Don’t get me wrong; it is a tough course, but Mr. Kauffman is eager to help you if you are struggling. If you are as lucky as I have been, you will have a class of eight people and more one-on-one time with your teacher.
  • Now for science, you have the option for Environmental Science or Anatomy and Physiology. I chose A&P because I was interested in this topic for a possible college major. I have had the pleasure to have Mrs. Abrahms as my teacher for this class. I do not regret it one bit. It is a fun and interactive class, and it is not as hard as it seems.Don’t be afraid to take this class just because you might not have done too well in Biology, and don’t be afraid to challenge yourself when choosing courses. You might surprise yourself. I know I have.

Now I know you are probably thinking that I have been going on way too much, and you are probably right. I just want to leave you with one last point. Just BE YOURSELF. Junior year, at least for me, is where I finally discovered who I truly am and what I want to do with my life. I hope this will help you consider getting the most out of your junior year.


Nicholas Viennas

Nick Viennas, Junior