This is arguably the most mentally taxing school year you have endured. Assignments and tests are flooding your spare time in abundance. You may feel like you’re struggling to stay afloat with all things high school, whether it’s academically, athletically, or socially, but I am here to tell you that it will be alright.
Even if it does not seem like it now, all the work you are putting into all aspects of your life will benefit you at some point. All the studying you did for that one math exam, or the soccer camps you attend in hopes of being recruited by your dream school, the practice you put in to your trumpet solo for your school’s half-time performance, or the effort you make just to show kindness on a daily basis; All of this is done for a reason. Your hard work will pay off.
You will make it through. Think about the seniors above you, your older family members and friends, and the countless other people who made it through this year. So will you.
As a junior girl myself, here are a few mantras I’ve been repeating to myself recently:
Live life to the fullest
Studying, while important, should not consume you. You are allowed to take a break. A healthy life means balance between work, fun, and relaxation. If you want to go hang out with friends every once in a while, that is okay! Your time in high school is almost up, do not let it go to waste.
It’s okay not to be the best
Your SAT scores do not define you. Other people achieving goals that you haven’t does not define you. We all have somebody we strive to imitate, someone who, in your eyes, is the “best” at something. When I get to thinking about that girl, my idealized version of myself, I like to remember that there is probably another girl out there that thinks that way about me. In somebody else’s eyes, you are the “best”. You don’t need a trophy or a stellar grade on your English final to be the “best”, somebody else can see you as the “best” for your personality, your humor, your kindness, and other areas that you may not even think about.
It is also important to remember that being the “best” is subjective. Even the greatest athletes in the world have their pitfalls from time to time, just like how your classmate, who makes perfect grades, still stresses over her upcoming math test. So, when you are comparing your ACT scores, remember that your ability to do your personal best in school is different from the person next to you. Everybody has their own strengths and weaknesses.
Everything will fall into place
College applications and decisions are barreling towards us like a freight train. Sometimes it feels like college mandates the course for the rest of your life, but that is not true. Throughout your life, you will have so many opportunities to achieve your goals. Even in college, you can change your major three or four times. Everybody’s personal and career goals will evolve as they grow, so having your life meticulously planned out is not a necessity. You will end up where you need to be. Attending an Ivy League does not change that.
Now onto winter break!
Sure, this break includes holiday parties and gift shopping, but it’s wise to remember that it is called a BREAK for a reason. Indulging in festivities can be fun, but I encourage all junior girls to take these couple weeks to relax. You’ve made it through the first half of the year, you deserve to take some time off! Relaxation means different things to everyone, so find how YOU prefer to relax and allow yourself some time in your busy schedule to do that. For me, I enjoy reading to decompress, but you may have a different preference than me!
Congratulations! You have made it this far. Keep going, stay strong, and remember that a healthy lifestyle means balance.