Eleven Feet Under

While+junior+year+can+be+rough%2C+students+should+take+time+away+from+their+studies+in+order+to+unwind+and+calm+their+minds+%28Photo+courtesy+of+Allie+Weber%29.

Allie Weber

While junior year can be rough, students should take time away from their studies in order to unwind and calm their minds (Photo courtesy of Allie Weber).

I think we can all agree that high school can suck. With the overwhelming pressure of school work, sports, extracurriculars, and of course, getting accepted into college, these four years may very well be some of the most stressful, tiring, and unpredictable years of your life. However, there is one specific year that seems to be infamous for carrying the most weight: junior year. 

“Junior year has been the most stressful year. It’s been very overwhelming for me because of the workload and the pressure of excelling in subjects that I know won’t be very useful in my career path,” said junior Éva Guigure. 

While freshman year can be hard to adjust, and senior year brings the dreaded seni

oritis and college acceptance letters, junior year is the one that counts. Colleges begin to look at prospective students, standardized testing dates are scheduled, and grades are more important than ever. So if this isn’t enough pressure, the classes juniors take are arguably the most difficult. Chemistry and physics are the two typical science classes that juniors are enrolled in, and both bring many tears and late nights to those who can’t seem to grasp their complex concepts. Pre-calculus and algebra 2 are detrimental to a student’s success as almost all math concepts build on everything you learn in these classes. Every junior is required to take US history, and while it’s not extraordinarily difficult, it comes with immense loads of work preparing for an end of course exam, and this on top of everything else a junior endures is overwhelming.   

“Some of my teachers said that we wouldn’t have that much homework, and they would help us out this year, but they continuously pile us with homework,” said junior Christian Malave. 

WHAT ARE STANDARDIZED TESTS? There must be a significant purpose for them (even though no one seems to know) because they carry a lot of weight with colleges. No matter how much time and effort we put into perfecting our GPA and class rank, it will never be enough unless we surpass the acceptable SAT/ACT scores. This has become more serious and important, so acing these tests is vital if you want to attend the college of your dreams; and of course, the tests happen to fall during junior year, only adding to the pressure we face. 

Allie Weber
Junior Year is difficult, but if you keep working hard, it will be worth it. (Photo courtesy of Allie Weber)

Since 7th grade, adults bombard us with questions like “What are you going to be when you grow up?” or “Where do you want to go to college?” but junior year is when the decisions are expected from us. Not only are we expected to know exactly where and what we are doing in college, but we are essentially supposed to have the next 15 years of our lives mapped out. This expectation is clearly outrageous; how are we supposed to enjoy the best time of our lives if we aren’t even living in it?  

“There’s a lot of added pressure to the school year. You’re expected to know exactly what to major in, know what your major is, have a good ACT/SAT score, and maintain good grades. It can all be a very challenging juggling act,” said junior Ana Sallurday.

Upperclassmen constantly told us how stressful junior year is, but you can’t truly understand until you experience it. Looking on the bright side, however, it’s the second semester, so the end is (almost) in sight. Something I hope anyone can take away is that we shouldn’t let the stress of school overwhelm our lives. School is important (in at least one woman’s opinion), and shouldn’t be taken lightly, but students should know that it isn’t the most important thing. Having a joyful and healthy life is far more important than having a perfect high school record.

“It’s okay to take some time for yourself and admit that [junior year] is hard. Find a way to deal with stress in a healthy way,” said Sallurday.