Arrowhead Students Face the Pressures of Junior Year

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Arrowhead juniors, Lily Stemper, Alli Hofkamp, and Kendall Fullerton, work together to solve a math problem.

Lily MacLean, Reporter

Arrowhead student, Kendall Fullerton, is one of the hundreds of Arrowhead High School students heading into their junior year. She said her first week of school was very stressful as she had a heavy workload to keep up with. Fullerton says she is concerned about the importance of this year. She is worried about colleges singling out her junior year while looking at her application.

While Fullerton has already taken her first ACT, she says she is stressed about the rest to come. Fullerton didn’t do much for the first test because she wanted to use it as a benchmark. She says that as each test comes, she will be gaining more knowledge and using more of the resources offered to her. However, she says the websites and books won’t do much because the test is based on everything she’s learned in high school.

According to the ACT website, the test is, “The leading US college admissions test that measures what you learn in high school to determine your academic readiness for college.”

Angela Rodenkirch, Arrowhead’s North Campus Counselor for last names P-Z, offers some advice to the school’s juniors.

“I think it’s a good idea to do some college visits and attend college fairs at the beginning of junior year,” Rodenkirch says.

Preparing for the ACT may be one of many juniors’ top priorities. Rodenkirch says students should continue to read for fun along with the reading they are assigned in school. She says reading for pleasure can build vocabulary and critical thinking skills. She also said students should continue to take challenging courses.

According to Rodenkirch, the ACT isn’t particularly something students can study for, as it measures how well students understand their high school content.

Arrowhead offers several different ACT prep options. Students can open up the Arrowhead High School website and click on the “CC” button to access their Career Cruising page. Once they are logged in, students will find a Method Test Prep icon that will take them to an ACT prep website. Arrowhead students have access to this website throughout their entire high school careers. They can use all portions for free while other people have to pay $1,750 for a 12 hour package that only contains two exams.

Rodenkirk tells juniors colleges want to see students who are following their passions in creative ways, taking classes they enjoy, and have the ability to tie it all together in their college essays. GPA and letters of recommendation also play a part in their decision.

Rodenkirk said the intensity of students’ classes and their ACT scores factor into the academic pieces of the applications.

Rodenkirk offers up some final tips for students so they don’t fall behind in their school work. She suggests students stay organized and work on their time management skills. Staying organized could include keeping an assignment notebook, taking a look at after school activities, and making sure all aspects are balanced.

“When colleges look at your application, it kind of tells a story about who you are as a person and what you’re authentically interested in,” Rodenkirch says.