Junior Year is the most important year of high school. It is the last full-year of grades that a post graduate institution (i.e., college) will see to evaluate your application for admission.
Get to know your guidance counselor. He/she will be your guidance counselor for the next four years. Your guidance counselor can assist you with academics, post graduate planning, health and well-being, family/relationship problems, etc. Your concerns could be about issues inside school or outside of school. If your guidance counselor is unable to assist you, he/she will refer you to other educators / professionals who may be able to help you.
Everything that you do from the minute you enter Lynn English High School impacts what you can do as you progress through high school and make plans for your future. Your grades, attendance and behavior will determine where you apply to college, what scholarship applications you complete, where you submit job applications, etc. Lack of effort and poor decision-making have consequences that you may not like when you are a senior. Do not be one of those seniors who wished that they tried harder, wished that they did all their school work, wished that they attended school regularly, and wished that they behaved appropriately.
Become involved in extracurricular activities: sports, clubs, student government, community service projects, etc. Be selective. It is much more rewarding to get involved in activities that really interest you. Most colleges would rather know what you actually did, not just what you joined. Colleges are interested in students who are truly committed to a few activities (i.e., elected officer/captain, fundraised, increased membership, improved group’s mission, organized community service events). There are many reasons for involving yourself at school:
- colleges want to see that you were committed to an activity over a long period of time
- you get a break from your studies
- you meet new friends and participate in social activities/events
- you discover something new that you never knew existed
If you did not do well in middle school, then consider high school a chance for you to start over and be successful. First and foremost, focus on your academics. Develop good study habits. Not everyone studies in the same way, but there are strategies that can help make studying more effective. Find a quiet, well-lit spot with enough space to organize your materials. Start with your most difficult subjects first while your mind is freshest. If you need extra help, see your teachers on their nights back. Every teacher has a night back during the week for students to receive extra help or to make up missed assignments or assessments.
There are many financial incentives for students who do well academically in school.
- Lynn English students have the opportunity to receive significant scholarship money to attend Merrimack College because of generous financial support from the O’Brien Foundation
- Many colleges and universities offer scholarships to freshmen applicants based on their high school grade point average (GPA).
- The John and Abigail Adams Scholarship and the Koplik Certificate of Mastery with Distinction are available to those students who earn excellent scores, district-wide, on the MCAS. These awards allow students to attend any Massachusetts college or university without having to pay tuition.
- Annually, Lynn English awards hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarship money to seniors based on their grades and/or extracurricular activities.
- It is not too early to start a college savings plan. Investigate state financial aid programs and 529 plans at www.mefa.org.
Dream Big But Dream Responsibly. Have goals for academics, athletics, college, post graduate plans, etc. If you work diligently, seek help when necessary, and never quit on yourself, you can achieve anything. At the same time, know when something may be beyond your reach despite your best efforts. It does not mean give up…carry on…and continue aiming high!
Start a portfolio or resume. Athletes, artists, scholars, and others should start collecting game tapes, newspaper clippings, awards, artwork, school papers, academic recognitions, trophies, etc. Colleges, scholarship committees and employers like to know what you have accomplished during your four years of high school.
Freshmen who hope to play college sports need to know the NCAA core course requirements and need to complete 16 core courses in four years in order to be eligible for NCAA Division 1 or 2 participation. Lack of appropriate course work more often keeps students out of NCAA play than inadequate test scores. Visit http://www.ncaa.org/student-athletes/future for more information.
If you do not have a Social Security Number, you should obtain one now
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation: Registry of Motor Vehicles now allows 14 and 15 year old students to obtain a Massachusetts Identification card. Having a state ID allows students to more easily obtain a work permit and cash their paychecks, as well as help teenagers provide their identity to potential employers who must file work eligibility verification documents with the federal government. For more information, MassDOT.