>Junior Year: Long Term Planning

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Can you say “grunge phase”?

My junior year of high school was really significant in that I started seriously looking ahead to college and beyond. I worked pretty hard at school in classes like AP History and chemistry. I did well enough on the PSATs to earn National Merit honors, so I started getting flooded with college literature in the mail. For my English class we had to do a reseach project on a career that interested us, so I chose Chemical Engineering. My dad and grandfather were both Chemical Engineers, and I learned quickly that it was the highest paid college major. So I started thinking about engineering schools, but I also loved working with little kids so I thought about elementary ed as a major as well. Big contrast, huh?

Junior prom!

High school was all about building the resume for college, with junior year being the most intense. I loved singing in the concert choir, I belonged to the math club, the softball team, and I volunteered as a tutor for kids in the projects of Chester. I didn’t do these things ONLY because they would impress an admissions officer, but I knew they counted. Eleventh grade is probably when I started to get quietly competitive with my classmates for class rank. Certain guys were overtly competitive, I just kept my mouth shut about my nearly perfect grades.

I didn’t get my driver’s license till I was almost 17, but once I did my friends loved to have me drive them everywhere. My dad had emphasized teaching me to drive in difficult situations like downtown Philly, so I was the only one brave enough to venture into the city behind the wheel.  So we had a great time visiting the planetarium, going to free concerts on Penn’s Landing, and hitting South Street. Junior year I had a falling out with my BFF, but I reconnected with the friends I’d known since elementary school, who are still my dearest friends today.

How seriously were you thinking ahead during high school? 

This post continues the series of posts Recording My Youth.

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8 responses to this post.

  1. >I thought about it somewhat, but I wanted to enjoy myself also. So I kept my grades good and really enjoyed my friends and family. And I'm really glad I did.

    Reply

  2. >I wasn't so great about thinking ahead–I wanted good grades, but just so that I could beat everyone else! Ha! My parents were crushed to learn that I wanted to be a teacher; that's definitely one of the lowest payed college majors!suchakingdom.blogspot.com

    Reply

  3. >I like the "quietly competitive" comment. I was somewhat like that, although in our small school most people knew who the top individuals were.

    Reply

  4. >Our school was small, and we knew who the top twenty or so were…but we were fighting for the top four spots which had monetary awards. The final averages were within hundredths of a percentage point of each other, so none of us really knew until the very end.

    Reply

  5. >That's too bad that your parents couldn't see the value in you becoming a teacher. Mine strongly encouraged me to become a teacher, but that wasn't what God had in mind for me.

    Reply

  6. >That was what I knew I wanted out of life most of all too, but I also knew it wasn't even remotely guaranteed. So I went to college to make sure I could support myself until such time as God would provide me with a husband, and I'm sure glad I did. Now I know that if anything ever happened to my husband I could financially support my family without him.

    Reply

  7. >That was what I knew I wanted out of life most of all too, but I also knew it wasn't even remotely guaranteed. So I went to college to make sure I could support myself until such time as God would provide me with a husband, and I'm sure glad I did. Now I know that if anything ever happened to my husband I could financially support my family without him.

    Reply

  8. >That was what I knew I wanted out of life most of all too, but I also knew it wasn't even remotely guaranteed. So I went to college to make sure I could support myself until such time as God would provide me with a husband, and I'm sure glad I did. Now I know that if anything ever happened to my husband I could financially support my family without him.

    Reply

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