Junior year: Looking back and looking ahead

Sarah Popovic, Staff Writer

Each year, juniors struggle to juggle between completing several nightly hours of homework, studying for multiple tests in one day, doing SAT preparation, participating in extracurricular activities, and visiting colleges. Junior year has the reputation to be the most stressful year within one’s high school career. Many say this because, based on my experiences, it is the truth.

Walking into junior year this year, I knew that it would be a challenge, but I thought that I would be prepared. However, balancing the workload in my honors classes along with my assignments in other classes, my extracurricular activities, and my part-time job has proven to be stressful.

Many of my classmates have experienced this as well, such as junior Kylie Jenkins. After completing a semester of junior year, Jenkins said that she feels “done, tired, [and] ready for a break.” We exert so much energy in our work for school and daily lives that, after only half of the year, we are exhausted.

Eleventh grade, more than perhaps any other year, is filled with decisions and situations that can affect you in the long term. This is why many people say that junior year is the most stressful year of all. College admissions representatives look at junior year grades and accomplishments the closest out of all four years, which makes it important for eleventh graders to do the best that they can. While entering her third year of high school, junior Sydney Chabot felt “[n]ervous because I knew we had to start thinking about college.” Having to think about changing your usual routine of getting up and going to North Kingstown High School every weekday morning is a little intimidating. You have to think about what schools you are interested in, visit those schools, and, at the same time, make sure that all of your grades are in line with your personal standards.

As I trudged through my first quarter of junior year, I realized something. Although I would do all of my homework and study for all of my assessments, stress caused me to not do as well as I initially intended. Since then, I have been progressing through junior year with a “get your work done with no stress” mentality. This way of thinking has benefitted me tremendously. Sydney Chabot agreed with me. She said, “ I feel like I know how to manage my work better.” So, once you get “in the swing of things,” it becomes easier and you feel less stressed.

Now that I am in fourth quarter, I can honestly say that all of my wonderful teachers have prepared me for my upcoming senior year and college years to come. They have given me a challenge, but a challenge that they knew I could strive for and reach.

For sophomores going into junior year next year, I would recommend using all of the resources that are given to you. Teachers want you to succeed, so, if you put the time and effort in, they will as well. The school Media Center, Town Library, and local coffee shops will become your hangout spots. Most importantly, do your best and make the best out of junior year.