The Junior Year Grind

A State High juniors backpack stuffed with books and papers

A State High junior’s backpack stuffed with books and papers

Sydney Asencio, Staff Writer

When the term ‘junior year’ is searched via Google, one of the first links to appear is “Dealing with Junior Year Stress”.  There is perhaps no better way to summarize the consensus of thoughts when discussing the junior year of high school.  A student’s desire for relaxation is impeded by the constant stressors that revolve around junior year.  From SAT’s, to building college applications, to maintaining good grades, juniors are continually asked to perform at their best.

There are an unlimited number of aspects that play a significant role in the realm of junior year.  The now senior Paige Heim said that the main stressor of her junior year was simply “AP testing.”  The AP exams are a series of difficult, college level tests that are offered to excelling students who have taken the necessary prerequisite class that accompanies the particular test.  Taking AP classes, despite the stress, is certainly good to have under one’s belt when applying to more demanding colleges.  Completed AP classes look impressive to colleges and may result in scholarship opportunities.

Procrastination is something that has proven difficult for high school students of all ages.  However, according to senior Krissy Bonness, its avoidance is critical for one’s junior year. “I would absolutely advise to juniors to stay on top of your work no matter what.  It often seemed to overwhelm me and so I would shove it aside, but then it became a huge problem that I could’ve easily avoided in the first place”, stated the State High senior.

On top of the work itself, junior year comes with a taxing college connotation.  Senior Taylor Love said, “It was stressful when everyone would constantly bombard you with college questions, like where you want to go and what you want to do.”  Despite the fact that as many as 50% of all Penn State enrolled students begin their college career as undecided, students feel uneasy if they are apprehensive of what exactly they want to do.  Krissy Bonness responded to this notion by saying, “I was really excited to be getting older and more mature but it was definitely a scary time because I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life or what the future really held for me.”

Junior year may be strenuous, but it is undoubtedly doable.  With hard work and a motivated mindset, junior year could even end up being your favorite year of high school.  Or perhaps not your least favorite.