High School Expectations vs. Reality 3 of 4: Junior Year

Valentina Arias, Multimedia Photo Editor

As freshmen, we are warned by the upperclassmen about the stress of junior year. “Be ready for all-nighters” and “you have no time for friends or yourself” are both constant phrases. The year is filled with constant homework assignments, state tests, SATs, ACTs, APs and more. The truth of the matter is that everything they said was completely true.

Junior year, for me, was in the beginning, one of the most exhausting years both mentally and physically. Most days, I found myself busy with homework assignments and projects while attending all my other extracurricular activities and maintaining a social life. While it has been difficult to do all of this and keep good grades, this year has shown me the value of good organization and time management skills.  

I am pretty involved with school and other non-school-related extracurriculars. I now recognize that throughout high school, I have not been the most timely when it comes to turning in assignments or meeting deadlines for specific tasks. This led to my grades dropping in classes and being less involved with certain clubs I was expected to dedicate time and effort toward. Once I realized that this was happening, I took a second for myself and realized that I needed to organize my time and myself better – which is exactly what I did. 

Eventually, I started performing a lot better by doing work before deadlines and not procrastinating, which I was once guilty of doing many times before. Over the course of the year, I have grown and matured thanks to what was thrown at me throughout my junior year. While it was extremely difficult at first, I am grateful because it put an end to my bad habits. 

When underclassmen ask me how bad junior year is, all I can say is, “It is what you make it,” because in the end, the only thing that matters is how you handled the year. It can either be an extremely difficult year filled with sleepless nights, or a great year filled with fun moments. The only one that can make that decision is you.