As seniors prepare to graduate, juniors wait their turn to experience senior year after what many consider a “terrible year”; a lot are hoping their senior year will be better. “I never thought my junior year would turn out the way it did. I just always thought I’d go through all my years of high school like every other teenager,” Sarah Pards, a junior, said.
Junior year is considered the last window of time to polish up your resume before college application season begins in the first semester of senior year. Whether it be last-minute volunteer hours or a studious year to boost a GPA, junior year is a valuable year to make last-minute improvements to that resume. “I’ve lost lots of opportunities to strengthen my resume, and it’s been haunting me this whole time. I just don’t know if I’m missing that thing that colleges want,” Katelyn Chacon, a junior, said. The stress is evident and, with a full year of distance-learning under the juniors’ belts, they speak from experience.
“The first semester was pretty tough for me. I struggled [to stay] motivated because I felt lonely and going to school wasn’t the same. There was a point where I wondered if this was still worth it,” Sarah Pards, a junior, said. Burnout is inevitable these days; not having that extra little push of a normal social life does not help the matter. It feels as though everyday mixes in with the other and forms a mundane overview of long periods.
Nevertheless, students have tried their best to cope and find ways that help keep their mental health in check.“Watching TV or talking to friends are two things that help me because they serve as distractions and it helps keep the stress of schoolwork away,” Lorraine Nunez Santana, a junior, said. Making sure to separate school and home life has become ever so more important.
With what students consider to be a year with an increased workload, some believe they don’t have the time to fully decompress. “I wish I didn’t have to spend my junior year doing online school because it’s been very hard and stressful and it just all piles up and it never ends and I just continue getting more and more work and I feel like I can never catch a break,” Samantha Gomez, a junior, said. The biggest issue is that many students are in a constant state of anxiety because of the workload they receive.
The lack of normality in school has made junior year somewhat stressful. All that students can do, as of now, is hope that things get better and continue to put in the work. “Only time will tell,” Pards said.