Jr. High to High School

The Stakes are Higher

In my column last week I addressed the challenges of a student going from elementary school into Junior High school. This week I will touch on some areas to ponder for the student going from Jr. High to High School because here…the stakes are higher.

There is no guarantee that if your student did well in Jr. High that they will continue to succeed into high school. Everything is harder. The subject matter is more complicated, the teachers/environment have different expectations, and the end result is much more important.

Juli Shulem

Starting with the subject matter: The work will be harder, of course. That need not put fear into a student, however it should logically cause one to understand that diligent work will be required in order to receive high grades. It will be doable if you learned something in junior high, even more doable if you learned to study. Junior high was the place to learn how to study and learn…high school is the next level in order to learn how to apply some of that, as well as continue to learn how to learn.

The environment is different. There are expectations of behavior as well as scholastic expectations. You will be held accountable. You will be expected to be able to comprehend instructions and follow-through on your assignments. You will also be expected to do well and begin to get an idea of a direction or area of study you may wish to pursue in your future. High school affords you the opportunity to take a variety of classes in order to expose yourself of the some of the options available in the world today.

Probably the single most important change between junior high school and senior high school is that these are the years that determine a lot of your future. The level of success you have in high school determines where you may end up going to college…perhaps IF you will end up going to college. You may discover a career path you want to take and how you will participate in the world. It’s actually quite a lot to expect of a mere teenager, but it’s how our current system is set up. You will learn more things, be challenged in your thinking, and you will also grow up a lot more during this time, so school is more serious at this level. How well you do here makes a big impact on your life and it’s where most students “buckle down” and rise to the occasion. It’s a time of tremendous growth where the “safety net” of parents still exists. This is the time to learn all you can so you have much to draw from in the following years.

Watch the next week for a much longer list of differences about the transition form high school to college.

Ask a question for the column and I will address it at the appropriate time. Email questions to Coach Juli, PCC Productivity Coach, at and put “question for column” in the subject line and they will be answered right here—your name is not used.

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