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Video: 5 Tips to Increase Your Junior Year Success

Junior year has a reputation for being tough, but our student vlogger Robert knows the best tips and tricks to help you succeed all year long.

Junior year has a reputation for being tough—it is when you have to really start thinking about college after all. But our student vlogger Robert knows the best tips and tricks to help you succeed. To stay on top of academics, extracurriculars, and more, check out the video below to learn more!

Get a notebook or binder (1:05)

When it comes to applying for college and having to talk about your accomplishments in high school, it’s hard to remember everything. You should keep an ongoing notebook of all your major achievements, volunteer work, awards, etc. This way, all crucial information will be in one place for you to easily circle back to and reference in all your college applications. Try to start this as early as you possibly can—and get specific with your details, like how long your commitments lasted or what positions you held. 

Related: Video: Organization and Time Management Skills

Begin to find your niche (2:20)

Colleges like, at least to some degree, students who have an idea of what they want. If you structure your courseload in high school to mimic the way your schedule will look in college, you will increase your chances of getting admitted. Really think about what you're good at or what you might like to do after college and load up on your best subjects. Make sure you take classes you like for colleges you want to pursue because success is already loving what you do! Start exploring your career path early. Sure, it'll be a while before you get there, but looking to your future can be motivating.

Figure out your identity (5:40)

Finding your identity can be quite difficult in high school. People are at a vulnerable age and go through a lot of changes. You'll deal with a lot of judgments thrown your way. Despite this, it's important to embrace who you are and to power through the superficial noise. There are so many voices saying things—including in your own head—but none of them should stop you from being unabashedly you. Don't be afraid to be you, and you'll find much more success throughout life than if you let others dictate your choices. 

Related: 4 Great Ways to Start Thinking About Your Future Career

Solidify relationships with your teachers (6:50)

This is super important when it comes to getting a recommendation letter for college. When it comes time to ask for them, you're most likely going to seek out teachers from junior or senior year. And what's going to be a better letter: a teacher who barely knew you or one you really connected with who remembers you as a good student? Form relationships with teachers so they can write a much more valuable recommendation letter because a good rec letter can be a make-or-break situation.

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes (8:24)

Avoid putting too much pressure on yourself. Take your academics seriously, but find a balance. Yes, we all make mistakes, but the most important thing is to learn from them. At some point, everyone fails. But once we do that, we learn more about ourselves and how capable we are of achieving our goals.

Related: How to Manage Your Stress for Better Health as a Student

Don't make what is often believed to be the toughest year of high school even more difficult by going into it unprepared. Arm yourself with the organizational skills and resources you need to tackle the start of the college search, challenge yourself in your classes, explore your passions, and have some fun along the way. 

Start searching for colleges on CollegeXpress, and watch more videos from our student vloggers on the CollegeXpress YouTube Channel!

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