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How College Juniors Can Balance the Joy and Applicability of Learning?

Today, college students, especially juniors, struggle with the prospect of balancing the applicability of learning, concerns regarding career initiation and further studies, and the joy of learning. The junior year is actually the bridge between the college and the postgraduate level experience.

The time is ideally used for testing and refining purposes, or, exploring yourself more than ever. The process has already begun since you stepped in the 1st grade for the first time, but it comes to real prominence at this time in the later college years. In this phase the students tend to become proactive, experimental, and imaginative. And when we talk from the practical perspective, they are ought to pay equal attention to summer internships and voluntary programs too in order to acquire pre-career skills such as communication skills, professional decorum, general project management, etc.

In the junior years the college or university students should begin to understand polarized situations and how prioritization makes life changing decisions. For example, you will get mature enough to let go unwanted distractions and relationships not mainly out of soul searching lessons, but simply due to the complex and demanding courses, assignment writing projects, tedious presentations, and other academic commitments in your master’s program.

Developing joy and practicality of the learning acquired is the eventual goal you will be on the quest to accomplish. And this is what students need to do to help themselves in this regard.

If possible, take a junior semester or year abroad
Agreeably it does seem an expensive prospect, but taking a part of your degree program abroad is way more powerful and promising than you can imagine. Travelling and studying abroad helps the students acquire a reality check and a broader perceptive of the global industry, precisely speaking, how things work in their field, as compared to the information gained at home. A significant contribution in your personal growth comes after meeting students from diverse backgrounds, nationalities, and cultures.

After encountering new challenges and situations, you get to discover more about yourself. In most cases, students return home with a renewed energy, self-esteem, confidence, and personal and professional maturity. In order to do so, the students can keep a journal stating their experiences and the consequences arisen from them.

Understandably, at your tenure abroad, you might not be able to learn as much subject material as you could have back at home due to several other distractions and concerns. But the learning acquired from outside the classroom walls will be much more useful and practical, due to exposure you get by living and studying in different demographics, political systems, teaching styles, and social norms. After developing the comfort zone built during the first few years in college, the foreign environment and obligations will force you to step out and evolve your learning forms.

You might have read the events of the French Revolution in the history class, but studying in Europe will make you live in it.

Use the junior year to engage in a specific field of the program
Getting yourself prepare well before the final term in your field comes with many benefits. More than one course in a particular area will not only enhance your learning in the field, but will also give you the confidence to solve problems and complex situations all from your competencies.

Consider yourself pursuing a STEM program, your curriculum will primarily contain sciences courses and be tightly connected. The advanced courses you will enroll in your major will mostly be the continuity of the basic courses and build your skills upon them. In STEM education the students are mainly encouraged to study under the tutelage of experienced professors and labs. For instance, indulging in a research project will help you power your skills needed in the research and development career.

The point to understand is that thoroughly engaging in your junior years gives you an edge in your sophomore years where you are about to graduate and enter the practical field or further studies. Hence, keeping the joy and practicality of the learning intact.