The All-Consuming Pressures of Junior Year

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Olivia Chewning

Crushed: Juniors Jessica Simmons, Emily D'Achiarti, Fiona Liu struggle with the pressures of junior year, coming with the wonderful package of testing, essays, and a workload of assignments.

Junior year. A feat unlike any other. An ever-changing, ever-evolving beast every student is bound to face. A student’s third year is different for everyone. For some, junior year is a magical time of growth, challenge and discovery. For others, it is nothing more than an uphill battle. Over the years, junior year has proven to be among the most monumental years of a students academic life.

As a junior, it often feels as if you are constantly bombarded by a never-ending supply of major tests and assessments. Juggling SATs, PSATs and ACTs quickly becomes a difficult balancing act for students. Throughout the year, testing becomes the sole topic of conversation among teens. Junior Hannah Hume describes her year as a combination of constant testing, studying and even more testing. “Standardized testing is such a monumental part of junior year,” said Hume, “There’s an insane amount of pressure to do well.”

For most, the end goal is simple: make great grades and head toward the future.  Oftentimes, new juniors are faced with the reality that they have to plan out their entire future in one single year. Since the dawn of time, students have been told that junior year is the most important year of your academic life. Even in sophomore year, planning for post-high school life feels like a distant concern until one day you find yourself donning a cap and gown, unsure what comes next.

The pressure is on like never before for students to do well in these courses junior year. Juniors like Fiona Liu often have to work harder than ever to keep a stellar academic record. “If my grades aren’t really good right now I won’t be able get into college next year,” said Liu. “Junior year by far is the most important for applications and admissions.”

Despite its many pressures, with junior year comes a plethora of new opportunities. As a reward for their many years of hard work, juniors are finally able to participate in events such as prom and upperclassmen Powderpuff. Juniors also have the privileges to sit nearly front row at football games and frankly, even the ability to identify as an upperclassmen in the school is a reward in itself. For many students, these little victories are really what junior year is all about.

Junior year is a time of momentous change for all students. Whether you’re still on the way to junior year or enduring it now, senior year can’t be any more stressful…

Right?