10 Habits of a Successful High School Junior

     As a rising senior, I can tell you from the other side of junior year that everything’s going to be alright, but I know that’s hard to believe when you’re going into a year that everyone has told you will be the hardest!  Today’s post is going to give you a few habits I think will benefit you in this tough year.  This isn’t to say you can’t be successful without living by these suggestions, but they certainly will help!  I’m not even going to pretend I did all of these things, a lot of them I’m picking up from my brilliant friends who thrived throughout our junior year.  This is my third post in this year’s Back to School series, so if you’d like to read “My Advice for High School Juniors”, “Back to School Lookbook 2018”, or my other Back to School posts from years past, you can check them out here!  Enjoy!

  1. Read your Bible everyday. – If you’re a Christian, I’d say this is absolutely essential.  Nothing puts you in the right mindset or brings you closer to God than spending a little time everyday in His word!  This quiet time could be as little as ten minutes in which you read a devotional or maybe you’ll read a chapter of the Bible each day!  There’s no right way to go about reading the Bible, the important thing is just that you do it.  If you’re intimidated by cracking open a book so big and old, I wrote a blog post all about how I go about reading the Bible last year and you can check it out here (that said I’ve also taken on a couple devotionals since posting that)!  I for one have definitely noticed that days in which I read the Bible tend to be ones that I’m kinder and more patient with others and also have a much more positive outlook.
  2. Do a little SAT (or ACT) practice everyday. – This is likely going to be the year you take the SAT and/or the ACT, so be sure you’re preparing yourself for them!  Signing up for the test then waiting until the week of to attempt to study won’t be much help, but getting a tutor isn’t always necessary either!  I’d recommend using Kahn Academy or the big College Board SAT book to practice for the test a little bit everyday.  Completing one reading passage with a set of questions or five math problems each day won’t take long at all but will help you slowly master the content!
  3. Make your bed every morning. – I understand the state of mind that “no one is going to see it anyways,” but for me, at the end of a long day when I walk back into my room to an unmade bed it’s just another bad mark on my day.  Coming home to a crisp, made bed makes me feel like at least one part of my life is in order and gives me a desire to continue to be productive in the hours immediately after school.
  4. Do short workouts daily. – Outside of lacrosse practice, this is definitely not a habit I developed but I sure wish I had!  Exercising a little everyday will not only keep you in shape, but will also help you relieve that junior year stress!
  5. Keep up with Fast Track to a 5 or Crash Course AP review books. – If your teachers give you these AP exam prep books early on (or if you just decide to buy them at Barnes & Noble at the start of the year), keep up with them from unit to unit!  I really wish I had done this because I feel like I would’ve performed better on unit tests and retained the information throughout the year as opposed to doing fine on the tests then forgetting the material until it was time to cram for the AP exam.
  6. Pick out your outfits on Sunday night. – This one goes for any grade or age, but checking the weather and your agenda for the week then picking out your outfits before the week begins is so smart.  Doing this most likely won’t take longer than an hour and will prevent you from stressing over choosing good outfits when you should be doing your schoolwork later in the week.
  7. Stay involved in things you actually care about. – I know this year might seem all about impressing colleges, but don’t lose sight of your favorite things because you’re too wrapped up in running to be the president of a club you aren’t even interested in.  If you really love writing you should get involved in yearbook, the school paper, or creative writing, not Envirothon!  Not only will dedicating too much of your time to things you don’t truly care about feel boring and exhausting, colleges will also see right through it when your extracurriculars have nothing to do with the interests you talk about in your application.  Definitely do take on as many extracurriculars as you think you can handle, but make sure you genuinely care about them!
  8. Go to bed as early as you can. – Here’s another I wish I would’ve done but didn’t!  The best way to set yourself up for success all year is to get a fair amount of rest!  I know firsthand that it can be hard to get in bed on time when you have as much homework as the average junior does, but a night of solid rest is so worth mastering those time management skills!  Getting eight (or close to eight) hours of sleep each night will help you stay focused (and awake) in class, alert and at the top of your game in sports practice, and healthy!
  9. Clean your room every weekend. – This one goes with number three; having a clean, put together room (your home base!) at the start of each week will reduce the intensity of mess-induced stress (okay maybe I’m the only one that deals with that…Whenever my room is messy I legitimately stress about it and get distracted from everything else until it gets cleaned) and give you a cleaner, less distracting workspace to get your homework done in!
  10. Set a nightly routine. – The friends I have that rarely (if ever) stay up past midnight doing homework are the friends I have that keep a pretty regular after school schedule.  Decide on how much “break” time you’re going to give yourself when you get home (maybe half an hour to grab a snack or watch an episode of your favorite show) then do your homework and take care of your other evening responsibilities!  I can’t tell you how to make your schedule because obviously everyone has different obligations, dinner times, etc. but you get the point!

Thanks for reading!  I hope you’re able to develop a few of these helpful habits for yourself!

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