Stop telling juniors that junior year sucks

The difficult year can be made easier by staying positive


Emma Siebold

Juniors Valerie Mendez and Jordan Jones slump over their Spanish textbooks. (Photo illustration)

Emma Siebold, Managing Editor

Look, I get it.

I’ve heard the daunting tales of junior year since I was in middle school. Rankings, SAT scores, college applications–all to be done during my third year of high school. If deciding my future at 17-years-old wasn’t hard enough, having all my teachers tell me how hard it’s going to be doesn’t help.

Juniors in 2021 have seriously been through it–COVID-19 cut down our freshman year and half of the student body was virtual last year. Now, we’re headed into the hardest year of high school with not a single full year under our belts. Even now, COVID-19 is still an obstacle when it comes to education as cases continue to rise despite higher vaccination rates.

The point is, juniors should be excited to prepare for college and not be sweating bullets on the first day of school. I want to be able to look forward to filling out college applications, to look forward to visiting universities and preparing for the future.

It’s pretty hard to do that when everyone seems to believe that failure is inevitable.

I actually read an article recently in English class titled 10 Ways to Survive 11th Grade. Now, I’m grateful that my teacher gave us the article; it’s more helpful than just saying “Hey! Welcome to junior year, prepare to die!” (as one does). But I wasn’t happy with the wording of the article’s headline.

I’d hate to set such low expectations for myself and simply survive junior year. I mean, I sure would like to enjoy at least some of it. I think that, as a junior class, we should be looking forward to thriving this year. Finally, everyone’s back at school (knock on wood), most colleges aren’t taking SAT scores, we’ll get to have junior prom–everything’s looking pretty good for us.

Shoutout to all the current juniors–we’ve got this. Everyone’s so negative about the hardships that we face, but all you have to do is convert that pressure into motivation.

As hard as this year will inevitably be, it’s finally a semi-normal year for us to enjoy. Be motivated to work hard and succeed in school. Be motivated to achieve the goals that you set for yourself back in freshman year. Because, in the end, junior year only sucks if you let it.