A Message to Juniors: Well done – keep going! - Geneva College, a Christian College in Pennsylvania (PA)

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Higher Education
January 20, 2018

A Message to Juniors: Well done – keep going!

Are college juniors the least talked about and celebrated class of college students? That question is loaded and its answer is debatable. I think it’s safe to say that we juniors have the least defined identity of all college students. The freshmen are the new ones, the wide-eyed students ready to get started. The sophomores have a year under their belt, and are coming back for more. The seniors are spent - having contracted an illness known only as “senioritis,” they welcome graduation with open arms. Now what about the juniors?

As a junior at Geneva College, I’m biased when I judge our lack of notoriety and defining features on college campuses as a slight. Here’s the thing, junior year is not an easy year. It is not just a casual stroll on the way to senior status. It can be a very steep climb up a foreboding mountain to reach the next level if not approached with the right mindset. Three thoughts have helped me manage through the first half of junior year, and I hope they help you, as well, fellow junior.

  1. You are halfway done

After your first day of junior year, you are now officially halfway done with your bachelor’s degree. That alone is something to celebrate. Studies tell us that only 54% of United States college students graduate with a bachelor’s degree in 4-6 years after beginning their college education. That means that you are one of the 56% of students who started and are still actively pursuing your degree. Congratulations fellow juniors, surviving through half of your college career is no easy task, but you did it.

  1. Do not fear, your path is more clear

Your junior year is when you absolutely must choose a major, if you haven’t already done so. By this point in your academic career, you have completed many of the elective requirements that needed for graduation. If you are like me, this achievement has you feeling pretty overjoyed. Whether you have just chosen a major or you have had a major locked down for years, you are now free to fill your class schedule with courses in your major. You can really buckle down and work towards gaining the knowledge you need for the life’s work you’re being called to.

  1. Remember why you are here!

Here’s the most important point. Halfway done with a vision of your life’s path in sight, it is easy to lose steam, burn out, drop out or lose focus on the important day-to-day tasks of college. It’s time to reflect on the purpose of college. It is a time to learn, study and earn good grades, but there is far more to the college experience. Remember, you are here not only to become a graduate worthy of employment after school, but you are also being formed into a responsible, driven and faithful adult. Every aspect of your college experience, whether it is good or bad, will assist you in becoming the best you can possibly be, and that is worth every bit of struggle and strife.

We have made it this far, my junior classmates, well done. But we must keep going to gain every bit of adulthood that is offered to us here. This year is a tough one, no dispute from me there, but juniors have a special place among college students. We are halfway done, our path is in sight and getting clearer, and we know for certain exactly why we are here. We will proudly graduate next year and start making more meaningful contributions to our families, churches, employers, communities and God’s kingdom, if we keep the faith. We are the junior class.

- Jacob Yarnell ‘19