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Why Junior Year Doesn’t Have to Suck

Nihal Al Qawasmi, Opinion Editor

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Oh, Junior year. When student’s finally earn their rite of passage into upperclassmen-hood. The year where you’re so close to the finish line, yet so freaking far. The year you realize how amazing being a freshman actually is.

Here’s why Junior year sucks, but also, how to make it better – because I’ve been there and done that.

1. Shit Gets Real

This is when everything starts to seep in. It’s too late to turn your back now and drop out or change your major. Just kidding, you can always do any of the above – but you’ll still end up back in junior year somehow. This is the year that defines you as a student and truly sets you up for either a successful senior year or a year spent trying to catch up.

My advice: Fake it until you make it. You’ve already made it this far, I am sure you can finish strong. Take it day by day and own it. Naps are OK, but don’t be lazy. 

2. Social and Academic Changes

Another sign that you’ve made it to 3 years in college. For some reason, this year switches up a lot of your dynamic – both socially and academically. You start to identify your true friends that have stuck around, you shed some old ones, and your classes start becoming more focused on your major/career.

My advice: Accept the good and bad with open arms. It’s totally ok to lose friends or to just stop talking. As the year changes, so do you. Change ultimately means growth. And don’t worry about the classes, they will really paint your career for you. Add those courses to your resume! 

3. Might Be a 5th Year

Uh-oh. Usually by Junior year a lot of students start taking into consideration the possibility of continuing grad school at their current university. Mostly because there tends to be lots of different programs where students can earn their masters degree by taking on just one extra year. That’s also because these programs might require them to start taking grad classes during their second semester of senior year. That’s actually a pretty rad idea if you ask me!

My advice: If you don’t want to do it, don’t. But make sure you won’t regret your decision later on. And if you are one of the students committing to an intensive graduate program, then congrats, you’ll have your masters by 23. Which I think is super cool. Don’t pass something up if it’ll benefit you in the long run. What’s an extra year to a lifetime of success? 

4. Time to Start those Internships and Visit the Career Center

That’s right, it’s time to finally make that appointment with the lovely and super helpful Career Center. Get your resume updated, gain some interview pointers, and land an awesome internship experience. Junior year is the most common time for students to start looking for internships. They will really help define your classes for the next year and a half and make you realize if the industry is a good fit for you.

My advice: What do you have to lose? Get those internships and figure your life out. Internships will teach you more than a course in your major ever could. Real life experiences will never compare. Make connections, stay on your toes, and practice your time management skills if you’re interning during the semester. 

If you’re a Junior, then congrats, you’re about to reach the middle mark. See, that wasn’t so bad? You’re almost there. Make us proud!

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