By Elyana Schosek
When you’re growing up, adults always ask you what you want to be when you’re older. The answers start out with doctor, astronaut, police officer or teacher, but as we get older they expect more serious answers. High school is when you should really be thinking about what you want to do with your life.
Junior year is when we really have to start making decisions. Courses like SGI High School’s Junior Seminar course are tailored to help students discover career paths or learn more about one’s they may already be interested in. Programs like BOCES give students opportunities to explore vocations. Students can enroll in BOCES during their junior and/or senior year.
Junior year means a lot of standardized tests to help your chances of getting into the college you want. Our teachers and counselors continually tell us how important the SAT and ACT are for getting into college. Both of these are standardized tests that are meant to measure intelligence in a standardized and consistent manner. SAT stands for Scholastic Assessment Test and ACT stands for American College Test. The SAT is administered across the world whereas, the ACT is only given in America hence the name.
Although many colleges use SAT or ACT scores when concerning admission, there has been some controversy over this recently. Opponents have said that tests cannot accurately measure intelligence since there are different ways one can be “smart.”
Early on in junior year, students are advised to take the PSAT or the Preliminary SAT. As with all of the standardized tests, the PSAT is not a requirement but it is highly recommended for students looking to take the SAT in the future. SGI offered the PSAT in October and will be giving the SAT in May. Students can retake the SAT as many times as they wish but may have to retake it at other schools in the area since SGI only offers it in May.
Any junior who is not attending BOCES is required to take a half-year course called Junior Seminar. Classified as a business course, it helps to prepare students for their future. Throughout the course, there are a number of class presentations to practice and improve upon presentation skills and public speaking to a degree.
The course also includes a number of research projects such as a career research project and a college comparison project. Other assignments include writing a resume to see what they may need to improve upon in the coming months along with mock interviews with SGI HS staff members.
Junior Seminar even touches on budgeting, an important life skill; impromptu speeches, more public speaking; final speeches, to see growth in presentation skills from the start of the class.
Junior year is when most students start driving and usually get their driver’s license which means more freedom and independence. For some students, getting their own car means they can participate more in after school activities. Junior year is when students really start to get involved in their school and community; it’s when they decide to do clubs or join the musical or a sports team.
That’s only the tip of the iceberg on what it means to be a high school junior: start making big decisions and preparing for life after high school along with much more.