Reflecting on a Stress-Filled Junior Year

Aenilah Watkins, Web Editor in Chief



Junior year to most students is regarded as just another year of high school, just one more year to add to the torture we experience daily. However, in my case, while junior year has ended up being the most stressful, it has also been the most transformative year of my life.

Midterms, finals, SATs, ACTs, Athletic Recruitment, Grades, PARCC, AP tests, and junior interviews are just a few out of many tasks facing Juniors this year. With so much baggage, students may experience pressure to perform to certain standards.

I’ve felt this on many occasions. I’ll think to myself, “If I don’t pass this test with a specific percentage then I won’t make an A this quarter, and then I’ll be at a significant disadvantage next quarter, which will then affect my overall final grade, which then affects my expected GPA for the whole year.” I’ve been over the scenario many times in my head. It usually ends in frustration.

Getting a perfect GPA by getting straight A’s and being the perfect model student in order to make Honor Roll or be recognized as Student of the Month are other objectives that overachievers, somewhat like myself, feel like they need to do to add to their transcripts. A student, at any age, shouldn’t experience this much exhaustion that drains the excitement before they’ve reached adulthood.

So here is what I’ve learned . . . 

The most important key to success in junior year comes with prioritizing. Honors and AP classes should be chosen wisely, with the primary goal of challenging oneself at a pace they find comfortable. Students should be expected to like the subject they are learning. The same applies for extracurricular activities. Only participant in clubs you truly have an interest in, otherwise you are truly wasting your time.

Speaking from experience, you won’t be your best if you are not passionate about what you are learning. Do what you want to do, not what you think colleges and/or your parents want you to do.

School doesn’t just provide content surrounding certain courses, it gives a student the chance to discover the content of their character, a student just has to take advantage of it. What they do and do not like learning about and what they are truly passionate about, that can help them take the first few steps in the journey to their future career.