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This article is dedicated to all my struggling, sleep-deprived college juniors.

Junior year of college is easily the forgotten middle child of the family. Freshman year is exciting
and full of all your “firsts” …first time living away from home, first midterm exam season, first
college football game, first college party, etc. Sophomore year is the “cool kid” year where you
come back to campus and you already know how everything goes, but you get more immersed
into the school through your studies and joining clubs. Senior year is the long-awaited year
obviously because of graduation and all the memorable festivities that come along with it.
However, no one talks about junior year. Junior year can be exciting because most people get
their rite of passage into the bars by turning 21, securing an internship junior year is a bit easier
than most years, and getting into your core major classes can be interesting.

Junior year is the peak of all your college years. Personally, I have felt busier than ever this year.
Most people have maximized their involvement in extracurriculars by taking on leadership
positions and classes demand a lot more time and attention because you are no longer taking
entry level classes. On top of keeping up with your GPA and social life, you have to really start
thinking about what you want to do post-graduation. This all can be a lot to think about. For all
my non-juniors reading this article, the next time you see a junior, please give them a hug
because they most definitely need it.

I have felt that I have had to prioritize time for myself a lot more this year as a junior than any
other year. Each day I try to take a little bit of time to do something for myself to help ease the
stress. Whether it is taking a little extra time in the shower to relax, painting my nails, or even
taking 30 minutes to light a candle and clean my room, it is super important to do whatever
might give you a little bit of dopamine. In addition, make sure to take things one day at a time. It
can be easy to stare at all the things on your calendar for the day, then for the week, then for the
month, and then for the entire semester. Suddenly you want to just close your computer and curl
up into a little ball. Heed my words: take it one day at a time. Look at the things that you need to
get done for the day and as you check those things off your list, celebrate yourself a bit. You’re a
boss!

I’ve been told that not all good things come easily. Junior year can be an exciting and formative
year, but you just have to fight for it. With a lot of time management, caffeine, and a good
support group, you can show junior year who’s the boss.

Shanise Buford is a junior at Purdue studying Finance with a concentration in Data Analytics. Originally, she is from Plainfield, IL. In her free time, she enjoys thrift shopping, exploring new coffee shops, cooking for friends and family, and going for walks.
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