7 Smart Tips for College Juniors

7 Smart Tips for College Juniors
  • Opening Intro -

    Your junior year of college may be your most transformational one yet.

    Your basic, required courses are behind you and you’ve declared your major.

    You’re now taking the courses that will prepare you for your career.


Getting good grades while in college is important. The following smart tips can help college juniors succeed on campus.

1. Meet with your academic advisor. Get with your academic advisor as soon as possible to map out a strategy to help you graduate. In the event that you have yet to declare your major, you’ll want to make it a priority. Discuss your options with your advisor.

2. Consider an internship. You need to find work in your field. An internship can offer that, something you should pursue during your junior year. Contact your college’s career development department to explore the possibilities. If you can, begin your first internship by the second semester of your junior year.

3. Study abroad. If the opportunity to live and study abroad is available, then take it. You may not be able to spend a fall or a spring semester abroad, but you should consider traveling the summer between your junior and senior years. Foreign study can benefit you and is received positively by many employers.

4. Consider grad school. If you have even an inkling that grad school is a possibility, then begin to research those programs. Your academic advisor can help you here. Many grad schools want students by the middle of their senior year, if not earlier. You’ll need to take the required exam, typically a GRE or its equivalent.

5. Meet with faculty. You’re serious about your academic progress and faculty is your partner to ensure that you succeed. Regular outside of the class meetings with faculty can be helpful. You can ask and receive feedback and guidance for the year ahead. Faculty members can also offer excellent advice (and recommendations) for graduate programs.

6. Build up your portfolio. You’re at school for your academic pursuits. Also important are the activities you pursue while on campus. Especially helpful is your involvement in a club or service organization. If you’ve been a worker bee for some time, seek appointment to a higher position. By demonstrating your leadership skills, you’ve helped your cause for grad school admission as well as for your career.

7. Maintain your grades. Do not let your grades suffer! Your GPA should be maintained, if not improved, as you progress through college. If you start to slip up, then it will have a snowball effect, dashing your chances for an internship or a desired grad school admission.

Stay on Course

As you move forward through your junior year, plan to make your grad school visits. Reach out to graduate faculty in your field of interest and ask for letters of recommendations from your professors. Network as if your academic progress depends on it, because it does. Ask alumni for assistance and talk about your career aspirations with everyone — family, friends, your professors, alumni, guest speakers and with friends of friends.

See AlsoCollege Juniors: Consider Studying Abroad


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Categories: Academics