Advice to the class of 2021


Tatum Cox, Staff

Junior year is known as the most important year of high school, and arguably the most stressful. For many upcoming juniors, the problem is that they aren’t sure what beholds them in these next few months or exactly how to prepare.

As a current senior who experienced all the ups and downs junior year had to offer, I was grateful to have parents, older friends and siblings, and awesome counselors that could show me the ropes, but I wish I had gotten more advice on how to manage extracurriculars, AP/DC classes, the ACT, scholarships, college prep, and personal health.

Experience grows wisdom, so what better way for current sophomores to prepare for this next school year than to hear from those who just lived it?

In this column, any upperclassman can upload a series of advice available below for next year’s juniors. Keep checking in for more students’ responses!

Upperclassmen: To publish your advice, click here

11th grader Samantha Collins: “Don’t stress about junior year too bad. I stressed about it forever and now I’ve suffered all year. The only thing to really stress about is the ACT. It’ll all be okay, just keep your head up and don’t let other people get to you. Focus on yourself and your grades. Just make it through Junior year and you’ll be good.”

11th grader Matthew Yates: “Stay positive, do all your homework, and study for the ACT every chance you get.”

11th grader Lauren: “Don’t compare yourself to other people! So what if one of your friends is taking two Dual Credit classes — maybe that’s what they were meant to do! You’re going to do what you’re meant and capable of doing and you’ll end up just fine! Don’t worry too much about if other people are doing better than you! You’re going to end up in a great place one day!”

Anonymous 12th grader: “Don’t let go of opportunities. In the first few months of the school year, you will find a lot of opportunities for scholarships and selective events. It can be overwhelming at first, but the worst thing I did was not apply for everything I could. It really closed doors for me in the next year when I was applying for colleges and trying to find money. I know a lot of smart seniors who couldn’t go to the college they wanted all because they didn’t apply for programs they were more than qualified for!! So get involved! Keep your options open for as long as you can, and the best way to do this is to put yourself out there and work hard now!”

12th grader Jakob Sherrard: “Get to know as many people as you can. The more variety you have in friends/acquaintances, the more ready you’ll be to interact with different types of people in the real world.”

Anonymous 11th grader: “I wish I would’ve known that although the ACT means a lot to colleges, it doesn’t dictate how good of a student you are.”

11th grader Elijah: “I wish I had known to work harder. No matter how discouraged or overwhelmed I was. It’s one thing to fail at something and is a whole different thing to fail knowing you gave it your all. You can keep your head up when you know you tried your best.”

11th grader Connor Wilkerson: “The best thing to know if you are an upcoming junior is that you need to know how to manage your time and devote as much time to your education as possible.”

Anonymous 11th grader: “If you have the opportunity to do the Academy at EC3, DO IT! It is an amazing program that allows you to graduate with an Associates degree, get a feel for college classes and professors, and you can take pathway classes along with your college credit classes to become more educated on a career you are interested in and possibly earn certifications. In my opinion, it is far better than taking AP/dual credit classes at your home high school.”

11th grader Bennett Jackson: “Make sure to study and actually (like seriously) take your time with writing down notes.”

Anonymous 12th grader: “Apply for GSP/GSA/GSE!!! These programs set you up for the rest of high school and college, and I wouldn’t trade the experience for the world. You aren’t just meeting lifelong friends, finding yourself, and getting perspective on life outside of Hardin County, you’re earning a ticket to college and practically any honors program in Kentucky. The best lesson I learned in my junior year is that I am more than capable. Set your mind, prioritize, HAVE CONFIDENCE, and you will not be disappointed.”

Anonymous 11th grader: “I would have taken the beginning of this year a lot more seriously because I struggled when it came to finals second trimester.”

11th grader Chloe Sloan: “The Academy is the best option and it gives the best opportunities and it opens so many doors. To any freshman or sophomore, IT IS THE BEST OPTION!!! I have not once regretted doing the Academy.”

Anonymous 11th grader: “Do the Academy. It is completely worth it. Some of the classes are more difficult, but it is not hard. It will pay off in the long run.”

Anonymous 11th grader: “DO THE ACADEMY. Gives you a lot more time to work on homework, a lot of freedom, and a head start on college.”

11th grader Kyra Latham: “Junior year is really not that hard, just take your time and do it right most teachers will work with you, so don’t stress.”

Anonymous 12th grader: “Don’t make your senior year easy. It doesn’t help you for the future. Take hard classes and challenge yourself for at least a trimester and if you don’t like it and end up with a C, it’s not the end of the world and you can drop the class. Just try it out and give it a chance.”