It’s only October and how many times have you heard this already? “Oh, get ready for junior year. That nearly undid my child.” “I’m just hoping she survives!” “She just joined the Facebook group, I Hate Junior Year!”
I hear this sort of lament often and think it is a shame to wish this year away. As adults, we all know that with the right sort of attitude and support, junior year can be a great experience. No longer the new kid at school and not yet suffering from “senioritis,” junior year is a time to start making some very exciting plans. Yes, this year counts in a big way, but let’s keep it positive!
I have said before that I find students interested in the visual and performing arts to be motivated and usually quite organized. Now, those organizational skills might need a little encouragement from the adults in their lives. With the right help, the one thing they won’t be losing is the confidence that they can follow their dreams, even if they don’t ace the SAT.
Juniors should start thinking about colleges, college visits and where they envision themselves living. Big city? Small campus? An hour away or across the world? Attend college fairs and gather information about programs that meet their needs. Attend presentations at their schools when admissions directors pay a visit. Early planning and setting reasonable goals will help the student to feel more in control of a journey that will end with them leaving home. That’s a big idea for a 16 year old.
Most importantly, remember to encourage your child to take time for those things that bring them happiness. For the creative kids, it will most likely be something that will end up in their portfolio or audition anyway!