Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Dear Rising High School Junior...

Dear Rising High School Junior,

This has been a crazy, amazing, packed, stressful, wonderful year. From the friendships, to the grades, you are in for a loop.

Because of the craziness of this past year [and my heart for mentorship], here are some things you should remember going into your junior year. Some of these are from me, and some are from my friends. While we have all had different experiences, these pieces of advice can help anyone.

"Don't slack off on ___________"
Junior year has a lot of new and exciting things... It is incredibly easy to slack off on the big projects... Remember that it's better to be ahead than behind.

"Keep up on homework; procrastination is one of the most harmful things that can happen..."
While the big projects need attention, the little stuff does too. Those little homework grades and surprise notebook checks add up fast and can seriously affect your grades.

"... and don't be afraid to talk to teachers if you don't understand what they're teaching"
Forming relationships with your teachers can be incredibly beneficial in the long run. Teachers don't become teachers for the money or the fame. They do it for you, the student. They care about you, so don't hesitate to go to them if you start struggling.

“Don’t wish your junior year away by thinking ‘Oh, I can’t wait to be a senior’. Your junior year can be memorable; don’t overlook the good times now”
I think this one speaks for itself.
“Enjoy every day because it goes by REALLY fast.”
Do you believe us yet?
"Get those college visits done ASAP so that you can be ahead for next year"
I advise doing this on your breaks (spring, fall, etc.) so that you do not fall too far behind in your classes, but make sure the college you are visiting is not on break as well... You want to get the best feel of student life.
“Remember that your best is all you can do. If you always try your hardest, no one can fault you for slacking off. While being the best is awesome, don’t compare yourself and your grades to other students, especially with ACT scores"
For me, Junior year was the busiest year yet. I had a lot of friendship changes, I added a job, the academics got harder, and there was a boy (go figure). Do your best and know your limits. There is only so much you can do. Comparison can wreck your morale... Albert Einstein once said, "Everybody is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life thinking it is stupid." You were created uniquely. You are not a clone of your classmate. You will each learn differently and score differently.
“It will all be gone before you know it. Don’t waste your time on things that don’t matter. Instead spend it on building relationships that will last”
What that girl was saying behind your back, how quickly that guy snapchatted you back, etc. will not necessarily matter at the end of the year. How you treated others and how you dealt with the conflict that arose means a lot. Remember "attitude is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it" (Swindoll). Philippians 4:8 is WONDERFUL when it comes to junior year drama... "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things."
“Don’t put so much pressure on yourself (especially academically) that you miss out on the social aspect of your high school experience. Those friendships are just as important as your grades”
To reiterate what I've already said....
Spend time with classmates outside school as a group… your class is your support group” 
Junior year FLIES BY. You'll blink and you're voting for senior class officers and applying for colleges. Soon you are going to part ways with most (if not all) of the friends you've grown up with. Love on your classmates, and cherish each moment with them.
“Junior year is kindof like the Thursday of VBS week. You know like when it’s past halfway but not quite over yet, and everyone’s kindof worn out and not as energetic as they were at the beginning of the week. Remind yourself that you’ve made it this far, and that the end is in sight!”
You've done great, but it's not over. CHERISH it.
Congratulations! You've finished two years of high school!
Now go ROCK the last two!
Your Rising High School Seniors

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