While enjoying your summer break is important, there are a few things you can start on to make life easier. Rising juniors, here are some steps you can take to better prepare yourself for the remainder of high school.
Take the ACT and/or SAT
It is completely doable to take the ACT or SAT during your junior or senior year; in fact, most people do. The disadvantage of this is that you add stress onto an already stressful and challenging school year. In addition, you have less time to effectively prepare for the ACT/SAT during your junior year since you will be busy with schoolwork and extracurriculars. By taking these tests the summer before junior year, you have more time to prepare without as much stress.
Another benefit of taking these tests early is that you have more opportunities to retake them and raise your score. Taking either of these tests more than once to gain test taking experience will help improve your score. Since the ACT/SAT only have around 7 testing dates each year, taking it earlier gives you more flexibility with regards to how many times you want to retake it.
Get Work Experience
Whether it is an entry level job or unpaid internship, gaining work experience in any form is invaluable. By having this experience, you are able to develop your work ethic and acquire useful skills. You also gain practical skills and experience working collaboratively with others in a professional environment. Additionally, you become exposed to the work lifestyle and can get a vague idea of potential future career paths.
Regardless of what career path you are interested in and decide to pursue, work experience is always useful. Having work experience the summer before junior year is a perfect time since you will not be as busy with school or college related matters like you will likely be in the future.
Find a Good Volunteer Organization
Finding an organization that supports a cause you are passionate about is beneficial in several ways. Volunteering with an organized group is an excellent way to form connections with those around you while serving your community. If you start with a good volunteer organization the summer before your junior year, you are able to demonstrate your commitment and investment in your community rather than waiting until the last minute to gain any type of volunteer experience. Additionally, the sooner you start, the more intimate relationships you can build among people within your organization.
It is important to volunteer and find causes that you care about rather than solely focusing on strengthening your resume. While that is important, it is not as significant if it is your only motivation and purpose for volunteering.
Put Together a Resume
You will need to have a resume for the rest of your professional life. Starting to form a resume the summer before junior year will make your life significantly easier in the upcoming years, especially since you will need it for college applications and other programs. Having one also makes it easier to answer personal questions because you have something to refer back to. For instance, anytime I fill out an application that asks for my extracurricular activities, community engagement, or achievements, I quickly refer back to my resume rather than having to remember everything I have done over the past few years.
Starting on a resume now will give you something to build off of as you go through high school. It is also good practice to make one before junior year since you will need resumes in college and beyond.
Develop a Vague Idea about College
If you are approaching junior year, it will help you to develop a vague idea about your ideal college experience. This does not mean you have to know where you want to go or what exactly you want to do. However, thinking about certain aspects that are involved in applying to colleges can help narrow your focus a little.
Some important categories to begin considering include where you want to live, ideal campus size, cost, etc. Thinking about the opposite of the previously mentioned categories (where you would not like to study, etc.) can be just as helpful in focusing your search. Regardless, do not let yourself get too stressed out about this now! You have plenty of time to think about college, and you can always ask friends, family, or teachers for support.
If you’re a rising junior still feeling a little nervous and unsure, read these extra amazing tips for junior year.