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Looking Back on Junior Year

Used with permission from Wikimedia Commons

Morgan Richards and Felicity Veliz, Staff Writers

Morgan Richards
During my entire freshman and sophomore experience, I was bombarded with upperclassmen warning me about the dangers of senioritis and procrastinating, avoiding certain teachers and classes that wouldn’t do anything but frustrate me and how important it was to get good grades during my junior year because that’s what college admissions look for. Now that I’m finally here, I know exactly what they meant.

Even with all the information I had at my disposal, I’m still lost at sea, head bobbing in the violent waves and struggling to catch a breath.

To be fair, I’ve always been a bit of a procrastinator. Due today? More like DO today. Putting things off never hurt my grade — in fact, the assignments I quickly scribbled and completed the night or class prior were my best work. There’s nothing like the adrenaline rush and the blood pumping vigorously through your veins when you finish your homework right as the bell to start class rings.

Junior year was the game changer. Senioritis affected me early — grabbing onto me with a harsh, suffocating grip and swearing to never let me go until I received my diploma and officially graduated. The days grew longer and longer, and before the first semester was even beginning to wind down, I started counting down the days till the end of the school year. Summer couldn’t come fast enough.

And even though I was so eager to leave, the school year dragged on and on and on. Eventually it got to the point where I’d wake up in the morning, trudge my way to school and try to get through the motions during all of my classes. My school life had become more of an assembly line blurring together and molding this shell of a person who thought grunting in indifference was an acceptable form of communication.

Classes, subjects and teachers that had previously interested me now made me loathe going to school every day. Everything was boring. Nothing made me want to learn or do anything. Most of the time, I’d stay on my phone and my teachers wouldn’t even bat an eye — they were done with the year, too.

It’s the coveted end of the year, and I feel nothing but stress, panic and death. While I’m striving toward the last day of school and still trying to keep my head afloat in the endless ocean of school work, I can’t seem to overcome the thrashing of the water.

There are still finals looming overhead with major projects and test grades that I can’t shake. We have such a short time left and so many things to do, and every added assignment weighs me down making it harder to surface.

Summer is almost here. It’s within my grasp like the sweet, sweet sight of land in the midst of infinite blue.

I just have to keep swimming.

Felicity Veliz
I think everyone craves that feeling of relief after something so stressful, and with summer being around the corner, everyone is just waiting for the long sleepless nights and unforgettable memories.

Junior year has finally come to an end and although the beginning of the year was a breeze, I can honestly say it has been the hardest year of my high school career.

Your junior year is the make it or break it year. It’s the year that ultimately determines where you will stand in your future. Although I still have one more year of high school, I’m expected to have an idea what my plans are for college.

Being involved in extracurricular activities has narrowed down a lot this year. I had to quit cross country after the first meet and track after the second. Although I do love the program so much, it was getting in the way of my studies and times I can be at work.

There’s a lot of pressure your junior year. You’re expected to score high on your SAT and keep your grades up more than ever. You start to become overwhelmed with the load of homework that you barely have time to yourself.

Managing a job and school work was probably the hardest obstacle I’ve had to face this year. Getting out of school at 2:55 to go straight to work, then get out at 10:30 to only do more work lasted most of the year. It seemed like something was always in the way of me trying to get better.

There’s this phase which I know you will hit throughout high school. Whether it’s senioritis or just having no motivation to do any work in school, but don’t let this get in the way of you being great.

I know it has gotten in my way.

I mentioned this in my previous blog but there will be times where you won’t know how to handle so many things at once. Your junior year is critical for giving you loads of stress.

So here’s my advice to you.

Take classes that will challenge you, but not overwhelm you. That was a mistake I made. Junior year is one or if not the most important year throughout high school. Taking it serious is crucial, and if you want to get better, it is important you take your limits into consideration.

Have a balanced schedule. With being involved in so many activities, I’d come home from work dreading to do homework that needed to be due the next day.

A low GPA will only keep me at the job I have now, not get me where I want to be in the future.

I’ve come to understand that working and making money will always be there, making something out myself won’t be.

But just because junior year may be challenging does not mean you can’t have fun with it. Remember that you only live through high school once. I know it sounds cliché but don’t be afraid to live in moment, just make smart decisions while doing it.

Also, know that your grades don’t define you. That’s another thing i’ve learned this year. I’ve grown up thinking that if I don’t make an A in a class i’m considered a failure and someone who doesn’t care about their grades.

Yes it is important to always try your best, but don’t let one grade get the best of you. Know your worth. As long as you know where you’re going and focusing on your grind, you’re golden.

I’ve also learned to not be in a rush to grow up. Senior year will leave faster that it will get here, and just like life, we can’t stop things from happening. Everything has it’s own time.

I don’t want look back at this year as a year of regret, but as a year full of lessons. You can’t have success without failure, even if the failure seems to last a lifetime.

Make your junior year count. Be the best you can be and try new things, because once it’s gone, you can’t go back.

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