An Open Letter To A High School Junior

March 2, 2018

Dear Juniors,


Junior year is filled with stress and it can be very chaotic with standardized tests, homework, and college visits… or maybe the person you wanted to go to prom with is going with someone else. There are so many expectations at this point in your high school career that it can be daunting.


Photo: Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash  


Everyone is still trying to figure out what he or she wants to do with their life and everyone is still discovering who they are supposed to be. When I was a junior, I was very shy, but that’s not who I am at all today. 


I decided to start a project to empower survivors of personal violence so that they may live free from fear, anxiety, and danger. I asked residents in my local area to donate essential hygiene products through collection boxes that I placed at my church, local banks, and thrift stores.


I figured out that I could make a difference, even if it was on a small scale. This added a sense of meaning to my life during my junior year when I didn’t know how to deal with everything that was going on.


I am here to tell you that you will survive. Keep some perspective on the entire college application process and know that you will end up where you are supposed to be. When visiting college campuses, look for qualities you like, such as a welcoming campus environment, good student to professor ratios in the classroom, and good on-campus dining options. This way, you can apply to colleges that all have the same qualities you are looking for in order to find the best fit for you.


Avoid what other people tell you, or at least take it with a grain of salt. People in your community, or even your teachers or counselors, might tell you what they think would be a good fit for you. Listen to what they have to say and make pro’s and con’s lists about all your options. Ultimately, focus on finding the best option for you, rather than getting caught up in the opinions of everyone around you.


I didn’t get accepted to my top choice, and I dreaded going to my safety school, but it worked out because I have fallen in love with the school I go to. However, if college isn’t your path, you will still find your niche, whether it’s going into the military, taking a gap year to figure things out, or going directly into the workforce. It may not be clear right now, but sometime soon, it’s going to make sense. Believe me, your future is very bright.


Best of luck,


Jackie Garcia

My name is Jackie Garcia and I am 21 years old, majoring in Media Arts and Design. When I'm not busy with school or writing, I love to travel, dance and watch re-runs of "New Girl.”


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