Welcome to Junior Year: the Beginning of the End


Me on the first day of school, on Aug. 15, smiling brightly hoping that this school year will be great. (Photo by C.Smith)

It is officially past Labor Day and if it hasn’t hit you yet (you are one of the lucky ones) I hate to break it to you, but the school year has started. We are prepping for our first tests and the seniors are deciding how early is too early to quit coming to class. However, if you are a junior you have started the beginning of the end. 

I, like the rest of the student population, had heard junior year was the worst, and that we would all be dying. However, I don’t think this is necessarily true anymore. I was determined not to die. After sophomore year, taking Trig and Honors Chemistry and losing my 4.0 in the process, I found myself taking myself less seriously. I had placed my value in my grades for so long, but as soon as it was gone I was freed. I started prioritizing the things I enjoy and not the things others said I was supposed to value. I scaled back on my classes taking trying to find a balance between what I want and what I felt I needed. However, I still found myself in Calculus, AP Language and Physics.

Just as quickly as I found myself freed from putting my worth in High School classes, I found college staring me dead in the eyes. All of sudden I found myself back in the same position. To me college does matter; it affects me in the real world. I was freaking out and there was nothing that could help me. That is until I realized I didn’t have to. I didn’t have to apply for JCCC, I didn’t have to take the ACT, I didn’t have to worry about this grade following me around for the next five years. So I didn’t, against the advice of both my college graduated brothers, my teachers, and my counselors. I didn’t want to worry about it, so I didn’t. 

Highschoolers are more stressed than ever. They are told that they should be perfect. There is no room for error in their grades, extracurriculars, or morals. You are supposed to take every opportunity thrown your way disregarding your health or your feelings. You’re forced to juggle it all and you better not let anything drop. I was sick of the world telling me this, so I told it no. Junior Year doesn’t have to be the beginning of the end. You are going to have stressful times, but they push us to do our best. However, there is a difference between stressing and drowning under your workload. I encourage everyone to take stock of their priorities and the things they are doing because it “looks good”. This is easier said than done, but the world will keep moving even if it feels like it won’t. 

Oh, by the way, I’m Hannah and I’ll be one of your weekly column writers for your school year. 

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