Second Year: Transitioning to Junior Year

The best advice often comes from our students. Below are some suggestions and tips based on reflections of current students. While every student’s transition is unique, it can be helpful to talk with your student about his or her goals and expectations for the coming year.

  • Students often report that majors are an important part of their identity. For many students, entering their junior year means exploring more classes in their majors. If your student is still deciding on a major, assure him or her that going through the process may allow a better understanding of interests. Encourage your student to take advantage of the opportunities tailored to specific majors that are offered by schools and colleges, such as student organizations, events, and career fairs.
  • Some students in their junior year find they have more time commitments and continue to work on time management. Building up a resume and looking for internships may sometimes feel like another class.
  • In the junior year, some students report taking a more active role in student organizations and as leaders on campus. This often strengthens a student’s connection to the university and fosters additional friendships.
  • Students tend to find themselves making more important decisions during their junior year. Empower your student to make decisions by supporting his or her interests and asking about taking advantage of campus resources. An advising appointment is a great place for your student to start.
  • At the end of the junior year, students may start to inventory their experiences and consider what they would like to do on campus prior to graduation. By junior year, college students know what a schedule looks like and what they can handle, which makes it easier to allocate more time to get more involved on campus.
  • If your student has not done so already, encourage him or her to find a niche on campus, whether that’s through a student organization, campus job, or volunteer work. It’s important to have an outlet and a community.
  • Because of increased involvement opportunities and connections to campus, many students say that they feel more like a campus role model as juniors. Farah said, “I would tell students coming into their junior year that they shouldn’t be afraid to share their ideas and make an impact on campus. Junior year has been a great time for me to reflect on my leadership experiences and identify the things that I still want to do before I graduate.”

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