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This year, you’ll probably have more choice in your curriculum than you did previously. It’s worth pursuing electives that interest you, not just the ones you think will impress colleges, particularly in your area of specialization . That demonstrates you’re truly interested in your discipline and want to find means outside of your requirements to pursue your passion. For instance, if you love to write, you might take a journalism or creative writing elective.

Taking courses outside of your requirements will allow you to expand your breadth of knowledge and prepare you for college, when you’ll have more choice in the courses you take.

Still, you should keep your requirements in mind. Make sure you at least meet them in subjects that aren’t your strongest and exceed them in your areas of interest.

While you should always strive to challenge yourself, don’t cram your schedule with too many AP classes, because you may wind up exhausted and unable to handle your curriculum. Focus on challenging yourself in your stronger subjects first, and then, if you think you can handle more, add some in subjects that aren’t your best.

Try to maintain a balance. Don’t overload your curriculum; you’ll probably have more work this year than you have before, so need to be cognizant of that fact and use your time wisely. Remember that you’ll also need to stay on top of your extracurriculars, where you may have leadership positions or a more active role this year, so keep your other commitments in mind when choosing your classes.

In college, you’ll have more leeway in choosing your courses. However, you’ll still need to fulfill certain distribution and major requirements. Start thinking about your passion and choose courses that complement it now. For instance, If you’re considering engineering, you’ll need to take plenty of high-level math and science courses.

Remember to take AP courses that correlate to the major you want to pursue. That means if you’re planning on studying literature, you should take AP English; likewise, if you’re hoping to be pre-med, you should be thinking about AP Chemistry and Biology. You should also reach the maximum level that your school offers in the subject that correlates to your planned major and take electives in that area.

If you reach the end of your school’s offerings before senior year, see if you can do an independent study or college classes in that subject. You could also try to self-study APs if your school doesn’t offer all the AP classes available in a given subject. Learn more about how to study for AP exams independently in Which AP Exam Should You Self-Study? .

Junior year is an important time—in most cases, the most important year for college admissions. That’s why you’ll need to maintain a strong GPA and show admissions committees that you’re up to the demands of college.

You also need to keep your life balanced. Try not to overtax yourself. Now is a good time to learn how to manage your time and implement stress-management strategies , which will come in handy when you head to college—and start your career.

Also be sure to keep your other commitments in mind. Remember to make time for extracurriculars, family, friends, and other activities that are important to you.

Looking for help navigating the road to college as a high school student? Check out the CollegeVine Mentorship Program . Our mentors drive significant personal and professional development for their high school mentees.

Combining mentorship with engaging content, insider strategies, and personalized analyses, our program provides students with the tools to succeed. As students learn from successful older peers, they develop confidence, autonomy, and critical thinking skills to help maximize their chances of success in college, business, and life.

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Senior Blogger at CollegeVine
Laura Berlinsky-Schine is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University, where she majored in Creative Writing and minored in History. She lives in Brooklyn, New York and works as a freelance writer specializing in education. She dreams of having a dog.

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The Chicken I made this week was Keto salsa chicken! EASY! Which is the reason it is one of my favorites! Plus I like a lot of salads, sandwiches, and tacos so the salsa flavoris just delicious!

Remember, you can cook it so many different ways…this is just how I did it this time – and if you want an easy way to make chicken-it doesn’t get much easier than this! Always be careful and clean when handling and preparing chicken!

THAW your Chicken. If you want to thaw in the fridge over 8-10 hours make sure you put in a covered container! Or you can thaw in the microwave on Defrost as a quick method. There are usually instructions on the back of the bag for thawing-so follow those. Its an option to cook from frozen as well-I personally prefer to thawit.
Arrange chicken in a single layer in a glass pan. (I always spray with Pam, but you don’t have to)
Pour 2 cups of Salsa over top of Chicken Breasts . You don’t really need to measure the salsa, sometimes I pour a whole jar on! The general rule is just to make sure each chicken breast has salsa on it so it can absorb the flavor!
Cover with FOIL or an oven-safe lid to keep moisture in.
Place in Preheated oven (at 375) and I usually cook for 60-70 minutes. Cook time can vary on how thawed your chicken is or isn’t.
When your chicken is done it should not have any pink when you cut down the middle! So ALWAYS check that it isthoroughlycooked! Then as soon as it is cooked and out of the oven I shred with 2 forks (which it should also shred easily if it is cooked well!) All those juices from the salsa not only give a good flavor but keep it moist as well.
I let it cool for a short time and then I place in a sealed container andrefrigerate! You can freeze it as well if you would like it to last longer than a few days.
And don’t forget, the point of all this is to be PREPARED! Have your menu planned out, food prepped and stick to it so that you are never in a desperate situation and regretting it later.
If you like this easy meal prep Keto salsa chicken recipe, you may also like these recipes:

The 50 Best Gluten-Free Dinner Recipes (Main Dishes) Part 1

The 25+ Most Pinned Gluten-Free Dinner Recipes on Pinterest

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By far the nicest hostel we’ve stayed at yet, Fauna Luxury Hostel is located in the Escazubarrio of San Jose. From the outside it looks like a mansion, and is easily the nicest building on the block. Previously a hotel, it opened in February, 2017. It is completely renovated andextremelyclean.

Street view of Fauna Luxury Hostel, Costa Rica

Fun Fact : All of the linens are hypoallergenic and washed with recycled rain water and returned back to the hostel sealed in plastic. How’s that for clean?!

Fun Fact

Dorms at Fauna Luxury Hostel, San Jose, Costa Rica

Thedorm-style rooms ran us $16/night each, anexcellentdeal for such a luxury hostel. The comfortable private sleeper pods are each equipped with their own reading light, two electrical outlets (no fighting over who gets to charge their phone next — yay!!) , and evena curtain that you can pull down for privacy!


The rooms are air conditioned, have hot water, towels, and hand soap, free wifi, and breakfast is included. There are also lockers that are big enough to store your luggage in, which is great if you are going to be out all day, but we felt very safe here and left ours in our pod with the curtain down. You can book your stay with Fauna by clicking here.

Single room at Fauna Luxury Hostel, San Jose, Costa Rica

Each private room is equipped with a king size bed and has it’s own bathroom and the same amenities as the dorm-style rooms. One unique feature of the private rooms is that each one features art from a local Costa Rican artist.

In-progress room at Fauna Luxury Hostel.

Enjoying the pool at Fauna Luxury Hostel

With more amenities than any other hostel we’ve seen before, Fauna has 24 hour security, a bar and full kitchen, an art gallery featuring local artists, a stunning pool and hot-tub, and is surrounded by beautiful views of the city and neighboring mountains. Having just opened in 2017, they are still adding more amenities to the list. They are installing a roof-top gym, and evena low-cost spa and sauna that includes features such as massages, manicures and pedicures! The roof is also available for events and weddingsas well, and Fauna has package deals forfamilies/groups.