10 Tips for Juniors in High School (The Ultimate Guide)

tips for juniors in high school

Just left sophomore year of high school? Going into junior year and don’t know what to expect? Here are 10 tips for juniors in high school!

At this point, you’ve probably made a circle of friends and are completely familiar with what high school is like.

Now, you’re in the upper class of students where things start to ramp up a bit.

If you’re unsure about the changes that happen between sophomore and junior year, hopefully this clears a few things up…

What’s the Biggest Difference Between Sophomore Year and Junior Year of High School?

Junior year is considered the hardest year in high school, especially compared to sophomore year.

There is generally more homework, harder tests, and college prep is right around the corner.

You will be at the age to have your license, so you can drive yourself to school and make plans after class to hang out with friends.

Aside from that, high school is high school. It’s all the same type of stuff from that point.

However, junior year is where you can make or break your high school experience. Most students either go all in on their studies to get into good colleges or they completely give up and lose all motivation.

It’s your responsibility as a junior in high school to stay motivated and keep your future strong!

Tips for Juniors in High School

Let’s dive into these 10 tips that will help you get situated more easily into junior year…

1) Prepare for Application Season

While most students apply for college during the start of senior year, it’s important to start learning more about colleges.

Here are a few things that you should start learning:

  • How they work
  • What you’ll need
  • How much they cost
  • How to get scholarships
  • When you need to make a decision

There are a lot of things that you could prepare for before the moment you even send in a college app.

The Common App is one of the most popular resources for college applications. They provide a ton of information on how everything works!

Just gather a bit of knowledge without stressing yourself out too much. As long as you know the basics, you’ll be good for junior year!

2) Study for SATs 

Studying for SATs is one of the most important tips for juniors in high school because you need your scores for college!

Junior year is also the most common year for students to take the SAT. If you haven’t familiarized yourself with the material yet, now would be a good time.

Get all the prep you can with books, apps, courses, and more! Of course, ACTs are included as well if that’s the test you decide to take.

If you’re looking for an excellent course that guarantees high SAT and ACT scores, check out Prep Expert for their classes and private tutoring!

Use the coupon code TEEN300 to save $300 on any SAT, ACT, or Masterclass courses that Prep Expert offers.

3) Take College Level Classes

If you want to get ahead, consider taking college level classes while you’re still in high school.

Take community college classes after school or take AP tests in place of other classes within your schedule.

Community college classes are usually easier and don’t require you to pass an AP test (which is why AP classes can suck sometimes).

This will help you build credits early before you ever step foot into a college. Some students can finish college up to 2 years earlier if they start taking classes now!

Related Post: 15 Useful Websites for Students

4) Start Working Part-Time

As you start approaching the upper class students of high school, you’ll find yourself in a tie for responsibility.

You’ll either be dragged out every night with friends or find a different outlet to spend your time (such as a job or sports).

Regardless of your choice, money will start leaving your pockets a bit faster than sophomore year.

That’s why you should consider working a few hours a week at a part-time job. It’ll help you build independence and learn to manage your money.

Learn the importance of earning your own money while also balancing the rest of life. You’re one year closer to independence so grab a head start.

5) Do Extracurricular Activities

Extracurriculars are going to be your best friend this year. It’s one of the best tips for juniors in high school who want to get into a good college!

Join sports, robotics, woodworking, or whatever else is offered at your specific high school.

Colleges want to see that you’re more than a bunch of A’s and B’s. They want to know that you can get good grades AND be able to have a life.

Think of it this way…

Kobe Bryant was a great basketball player (which was impressive), but he was also a director, investor, influencer, and much more.

This made him one of the most impressive people to ever live. Colleges want to see the same thing!

6) Consider Community College

A common misconception is that community college is bad for you or isn’t considered impressive to other people.

But here’s the truth…

Going to community college is one of the smartest choices you can make as you come out of high school. Here’s why:

  • Classes are cheap/free
  • Avoid paying rent
  • More freedom to work on yourself
  • Don’t have to take the SAT
  • Stay near friends in your town
  • Get used to college before the real headaches
  • Most teens don’t know their major yet
  • If your grades are bad you get a fresh start

There are so many benefits for students regardless of their academic success in high school.

Even if you have a 4.5 GPA, do 2 sports, and are a part of 100 clubs, you’re still going to save money for your first 2 years of college at the very least!

You don’t have to go to community college and then stop after 2 years. If anything, it’s way easier to transfer to a 4-year university after CC.

Related Post: College vs No College (Statistics, Pro, and Cons)

7) Start Befriending Teachers

Junior year is the most important year to build up a small network of teachers who like you.

Why? Because you’re going to want teacher recommendations for anything in life, especially if you’re going straight to a 4-year university.

Pick out your friendly teachers, talk to them after class once in a while, ask them questions, show your interest in the subjects, and build a solid relationship with them.

When the time comes to get a recommendation letter, your favorite teacher will not only agree to write it, but they’ll put in the effort to make you look good!

Trust me, do this as early as you can!

8) Volunteer

As a junior in high school, volunteering is a great way to show some spirit and help out your nearby community.

It helps with college applications and gets you a few hours to go towards other things like job applications.

It also shows that you’re a good person who cares about the world around them and that’s an impressive thing to show nowadays.

You might also need hours to satisfy high school requirements and build new skills along the way.

If you don’t want to do labor intensive volunteer work, you can also give back by donating blood or other things that you don’t need.

9) Join Clubs

This is one of the best tips for juniors in high school! Join as many clubs as you can!

Or better yet… start your own club.

If you have a passion for anything, chances are that other students have a similar passion. There’s no club related to your interest? Start one yourself.

If there are already clubs out there that interest you, sign up for as many that can fit into your schedule.

Most clubs have meetings during lunch, which is an easy way to kill time, make new friends, and add more hobbies to your college application!

Related Post: Advice for Teenagers (10 Life Tips for Teens)

10) Take Junior Year Seriously

For some odd reason, it’s common for juniors to treat this year like it’s their last year of high school.

That’s the wrong mindset and it’s going to bite you back later.

This is the one year that you should give it all you got because senior year is going to be much easier, especially once you get accepted to a college.

You’re probably going to be the most stressed you’ve ever been, so actively seek a balance of fun and work.

Hang out with friends during the weekends, do something you love when you have free time, and enjoy those special high school moments when you can.

Junior year will go by faster than you know it, so cherish your last couple of years while keeping up that hard work!


Hopefully these 10 tips for juniors in high school have helped you wiggle your way into 11th grade a bit easier.

You’ll notice that a common theme of junior year is college applications and it’s pretty true. This is when you need to get ready for it all.

Good luck this year!

If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions leave them down below. Thanks for reading!

  1. I’m really stressed with my Junior Year rn. I’m taking AP Environmental Science, AP Psychology, AP English, wrestling, working at Chipotle, making motivational TikToks daily, and trying to keep a good relationship with my guardian. What do you recommend for those AP classes Daniel? I’m barely breathing with three C’s.

  2. Hey Spencer,
    Good for you that you’re managing all those things! Some students can’t even manage 1 AP let alone 3 plus all that other stuff. Look, it seems like you’re already a semester deep into those APs. I would just stick with them for the year, do your best, and most importantly… remember that community college is not a bad thing. You get a bit of a fresh start and it’s way cheaper (while practically being the same thing). Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions😁

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