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Skidmore College
Counseling Center

Junior Year

During their junior year, students begin to reap the rewards of their investment in academics and in the community at Skidmore. Students have declared their major and they typically take classes that interest them and challenge them. They know the campus and they have learned which routines work for them. They have also usually developed meaningful and rewarding relationships on campus. Students often seem to be more mature and in control of their lives, and they have a renewed sense of self. During their junior year, students further develop their knowledge, skills and abilities in and outside of the classroom as well as a more nuanced ability to acknowledge their own strengths, weaknesses and values.

The third year, as with the first and second years, can still present challenges with which your student may need help. For example, studying abroad is an experience that many Skidmore students typically embark upon during the junior year. If your son or daughter goes abroad, they will experience cultural and emotional upheavals analogous to when they first went away to college. They will need to learn how to navigate an entirely new culture, obtain new skills, and meet new people. Your student will have to go through all of this again, but with the additional challenge of different social norms and customs. Additionally, students often run into difficulties readjusting to their daily routines when they return to U.S. culture and to their families. This "reverse culture shock" has to do with the fact that, while away, they have matured and changed a great deal. Other challenges during the junior year include:

Academic and Career Challenges

  • Preparing for the graduate school application process including the graduate admission tests
  • Gaining experience in area of interest through internships, volunteering, summer jobs, research with professors
  • Exploring and seeking out leadership and community service activities

Relational Concerns

  • For students who don't go abroad, they are often faced with developing new relationships at Skidmore as many of their friends may be out of the country
  • Romantic relationships may become more monogamous and committed

Personal and Other Concerns

  • Possible move off campus or into an on-campus apartment may mean maintaining their own household for the first time