Welcome to Your Junior Year of College

It feels like high school all over again.

Everyone told you since you were a freshman in high school that junior year is the most pivotal year because most of your classes will be a heavy load and you need to perform your best in all of them as you start applying to college. You also carry the pressure on your shoulders of taking standardized tests and anticipate the next year when you’re going to be the big fish in the sea.

Not much changes as you enter your junior year in college, just four short years later. The Déjà vu creeps in, except this time, you’ll enter “the real world” and not the best four years of your life. Junior year is pivotal now, because you’re starting to prepare yourself for adulthood. You seem to ask yourself more often than not, when the heck did that even happen?!

Being a wide-eyed eager freshman in college was the life. Classes were taken as a joke, because who even cares about learning Astronomy or Human Species when you want to go into Marketing? Parties were your go-to weekend plans, and you always told yourself you have time to do all the things you wanted to, so you put it off for "later." Later came, later is now. And being an upperclassmen seemed like a century away, so you never thought twice about it.

Sophomore year rolled around, and that’s when you dipped your toes into your major and (attempted) figuring out what you’ll want to spend the rest of your life doing. Except, if you’re like most of us, you still won’t have it figured out even when you’re in the major you feel fits right.

When people really tell you college fly’s by, they’re not kidding.

As a junior in college, your class load becomes piled, internship fairs are your favorite extracurricular activity, and the harsh realization that next year is your last year with your college besties in your college town sinks in. You actually have to start ‘adulting.’ Your parents slowly cut you off so you learn to make it on your own. Laundry, studying, cooking, and naps are considered your go-to Sunday plans. You start paying attention in your courses, because CRAP! You’re figuring out ya’ might actually have to know this stuff.

One day you just started at your university feeling lost and excited. Then you wake up, and you’re the one giving directions to the lost and excited: new freshman. It’s crazy, and a whirlwind of emotions consume juniors because senior year is only a couple of semesters away—and your résumé isn’t impressive anymore because no one cares that you worked as a sales associate at your hometown mall. 

Junior year is the time to shine and set yourself apart early so senior year won’t have to be so stressful. This is the year of scrambling for experience you hope will help you in the year's to come so you don't feel unprepared after next year. You start to let go and leave your comfort zone as you apply for new job and internship opportunities. You turn 21 and feel on top of the world. You wonder if the person you’re dating will be the one that you’re supposed to stay with forever. You want to keep your child-like innocence, but know it’s time to mature. You're hanging on the edge of "21 and fun" and "hire me, I'm professional, I swear." Junior year is when your life starts to feels like dress up, it feels like a game you've been thrown into to play. Where you put on your cutest business outfit and start conquering the world, but you still feel like you're five years old.

It’s fun and scary, and it’s something all of us go through. And in the midst of it all, you feel like a junior in high school all over again. Afraid, but ready, to be at the top of the pedestal. Just to be knocked down one year later, and become who you’re set out to be.

 

Photo credit: Image