Junior Year: The Real Perspective

Junior year is often referred to as the most challenging year of high school. Rising juniors are encouraged to take advanced classes and dedicate time to extracurricular activities, all while maintaining a social life and finding time for self-care. It is the last full year of high school that colleges will see, so it is important to do your best. However, junior year can be a time of stress, exasperation, and sadness. But does it have to be that way? I interviewed juniors, seniors and teachers at Apex High School to get their perspective on this issue. 

Many juniors have received advice and words of caution before entering their junior year. One such student is Allison Hurley. “I think that over the years of high school I’ve been told that junior year is the toughest year. Going into it, I was scared. But right now it’s going pretty good, I’ve been managing my time well and I hope that that continues.” 

A general consensus among juniors is that they have a lot of work to do and are experiencing a lot of stress. 

Rose Andrews says,“I am stressed out of my mind. But I’m hoping it’s a formative experience for me, and I can get my work done, and it will teach me more than just doing busywork.” 

Anika Sanghi concurs. “Junior year is very tiring, and I already hate it.” 

Never fear, juniors, because you don’t have to go it alone. Seniors and teachers have words of wisdom to guide you through this time in your life.

Senior Shreya Senthilkumar says, “Still work hard and make sure you are organized and on top of things, but also make sure you are prioritizing your mental health and talking to people whenever you can.”

Social Studies teacher Ms. Pettifer advises juniors to get involved in the school community. “Make sure you are at least in one club or society or sport. I think involvement makes school more enjoyable and it’s a great thing to add to your résumé when you apply to colleges next year.”

In regards to the immense stress juniors often feel, Ms. Pettifer offers sage advice.“Junior year is a very stressful year because it’s the year you take a lot of your pre-college entrance exams and a lot of kids take a lot of APs and honors classes junior year. Time management and organizational skills are very important. But overall, I’d say just come to school each day with a positive mindset. What you put into an experience is what you’ll get out of it, and if you come in each day eager to learn and looking forward to learning, you’ll have a more enjoyable time.” 

Remember juniors, that there is more to this year than getting good grades. Junior year is a time when you get to experience the perks of being an upperclassman, such as going to prom and going off campus for lunch. 

Whenever you experience self-doubt, remember that there are so many people in your corner and that you will be successful. As Ms. Pettifer says, “All of your teachers have confidence that you will end junior year extremely successfully.” 

Junior year may seem insurmountable at times, but know that it always gets better. Remember to make time for yourself and spend time with family and friends. Take care of your health and drink enough water. Stay strong juniors, and never give up!

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