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A Junior’s Journey

By on January 13, 2016

As a student-athlete living in Miami, Florida, the experiences that I have had throughout my preparatory high school career have been priceless. I have been afforded a strong foundational education that has prepared me for the future. Each step of the way has included hands-on learning opportunities in the classroom and on the field. From sitting in on local Chamber of Commerce meetings, writing and developing a detailed business plan complete with financial statements, to performing as an award winning football and lacrosse player, the journey has been real.

The realness has become even more apparent now that I am a member of the junior class, set to graduate into the world in 2017. Being a student that is enrolled in advanced classes, as well as, working each day as an athlete, I have found that balancing schedules and priorities can be very difficult. In fact, there are many students around the country who struggle to deal with balancing extracurricular activities and their classes. Once junior year rolls around, these factors can affect the chances of getting into the college of one’s choice. It is imperative to strike a balance.

My school offers a large selection of sports, clubs, and classes to choose from. This provides for plenty of opportunities for students to enhance their high school experience and to become more involved in their respective local communities. Even more importantly, by balancing a healthy amount of various activities, students are seen as more well-rounded in the eyes of colleges and can be considered more interesting because of their experiences. By becoming more involved, students are sometimes unknowingly building up their college resume and are gaining more knowledge and valuable experiences that will ultimately be extremely beneficial. These practices are very important to many universities all around the United States.

While being involved in community functions and in various clubs is a great resume builder, it can be said that it is equally as important to colleges as test scores. As juniors and seniors in high school, students busily prepare for standardized tests such as the SAT and the ACT. It is important to note, that students can choose to take both tests or choose to focus on only one. The class of 2017 is actually in a unique position. We are the first class of students around the country to sit for the “new SAT”, as it is the first time in years that the test has been completely redesigned. Current juniors are posed with the opportunity to take both the old and new versions of the test and to compare their performances. In any case, just the right score is hopefully to be obtained.

Additionally, there is no limit to the amount of times one can take these standardized tests; however, it is widely believed that one’s score is not likely to improve after the third time taking the test. Adequate preparation, including tutoring classes and one on one sessions, is a process that most students begin in the summer between sophomore and junior years.

Although grades, test scores, and community involvement are integral parts of getting into the college of choice, it is important not to stress out. Life after high school should be looked forward to as the next step in life. Seen as a new journey into adulthood and maturity; life after high school, especially college, is a valuable experience, in addition to a great time. Unnecessary stress or worry should be avoided at all costs. Time management skills will come in handy at this point.

Being the best student possible, staying focused on goals, and being a well-rounded person, helps to prepare students for the next exciting phase of their lives. It is perfectly fine if one does not obtain straight A’s or to obtain even the top test scores. It is important to aim high and to strive to be the best one can be. It’s all about the journey! Make it a good one.

By Jordan Lyon