By Paige Ochoa,
With the pressure of stacking one’s schedule with numerous AP/Honor classes, juggling advanced school work, participating in varsity sports and other after school activities and preparing for the dreaded SAT and ACT, but still having social life outside of school, junior year is one obstacle to overcome.
Junior year is the first stepping stone into one’s future and because of this, it really is the most challenging year in one’s high school career.
“Everybody thinks that junior year is the hardest year, like it’s already a predetermined thing, so it just makes everyone pile on a bunch of hard classes and SAT stuff,” senior Zach Ringer said.
Graduating his junior year by taking three AP/Honors classes, starting on the men’s volleyball team, being a member of the varsity cheerleading team and still having a social life outside of the classroom, Ringer had a lot on his plate.
“I think that [junior year] is just the time when most things count,” Ringer said. “It’s definitely stressful, but not too stressful.”
Even so, if he could go back in time, Ringer would have added even more to his busy schedule.
“I probably would have taken one more AP or Honors course because of the GPA boost, you know, we all love that,” Ringer said.
Sophomore Emily Jiang took advantage of the AP/Honors class GPA boost this year, lining up classes like Chemistry Honors, English 10 Honors and Spanish 4 Honors. Still, Jiang believes that her next year of high school will top this years’ stresses and challenges.
“Junior year is the last chance you have to take all the extracurriculars and the clubs where the colleges really look for it,” Jiang said.
Seniors Phoebe Pansoy and Nate Ade both agree with Jiang.
“Colleges look at your grades the most junior year so it just adds extra stress,” Ade said.
“Junior year is all about making sure you look acceptable to colleges, getting a competitive SAT score and applying for scholarships, internships and colleges,” Pansoy added. “All while keeping up with your personal life, homework and tests.”
The biggest challenge students of all ages must overcome throughout their years of schooling is time management.
According the Office of Adolescent Health, after sleeping, education consumes the most amount of time during a teenager’s day – on average, seven hours every weekday and just over one hour each day of the weekend.
“Even though the stress of the SAT hanging over your head and studying for it takes up so much of your time as a junior, I feel like you still need to have free time,” sophomore Ishan Malik said.
Most students, teachers and adults would agree with Malik’s statement that having time to relax is just as important as studying, however not all classes and teachers help students have any free time left in their days.
“A lot of students believe that they’ll just take a bunch of weighted classes and it’ll make their GPA better but then the reality of all the expectations that come along with an AP/Honors class sets in and they’re flooded with homework that is unmanageable,” Pansoy said.
“And to add on,” she continued, “some teachers are more understanding of outside factors that may be affecting your performance in school while others aren’t.”
Even though junior year has a negative reputation, students already went through finding their way around DHS as a sophomore. This makes one more knowledgeable about the campus and eases the stress of finding friends.
“During junior year I was a lot more nervous about the harder classes but I felt more comfortable at the school and like I had a grip on what daily life around DHS is like,” Ringer said.
Although one might find themselves more comfortable with the ways of DHS, “the first few days of junior year was teachers talking about how we have to mature and what projects and assignments we will have in the next few days,” Pansoy said.
Welcome back to school, juniors.