Written by: Lisa Hao, Andy Zhao, Rebecca Alger and Emily Yao
It’s insane to think that we are already third-quarter freshmen. What? I know, I know, it doesn’t have the charming ring of “second-semester seniors,” but making it to the third quarter is an achievement in its own right. Just think, we were awkwardly thrust into high school seven months ago. Luckily, for the most part, I believe most of us have figured it out. We’ve learned to face our fears by asking that special someone to a dance. We’ve learned to prioritize, and we have figured out that Titan 101 is definitely not an efficient way to spend an hour after school (I love my group, but someone had to say it). We’ve learned how to avoid trouble, and we’ve learned that a fight is never a good idea if Sanchez is nearby. For the most part, we’ve learned to identify with being Gunn students.
However, while second-semester seniors are probably starting to relax, the stress has just caught up to the freshmen. In high school, it seems that weekends are just weekdays with more time for more homework. We’ve survived our first finals, but we aren’t too excited for our next brush with grade-threatening tests. I probably shouldn’t be complaining, but in addition to worrying about boys, sports, friends, family and life in general, stressing about grades seems a little much.- But even though academic stress seems unbearable this year, we all know that the homework load is just bound to get heavier, and the material we learn will get harder. On the other hand, when we get to that point, we will be smarter and more prepared. It’s weird to think about how much can happen in our next few years at Gunn and what may be in store for us. Although sometimes we feel like high school will never end, when we look back as seniors, it will probably seem to have gone by too quickly. Let’s cherish the good times and not dwell too much on the bad. After all, we’re still only freshmen.
Sophomores have it rough. It’s not always easy as a tenth grader, and preparing for junior year is not making it any easier. Academic pressures combined with trying to squeeze in time for driving school and sports make for a nasty combination, but here’s the good news: we sophomores are pretty much all suffering the same pains. At this time of year, the class of 2015 is facing some common milestones.
Seeing friends get their driver’s licenses has caused us all to have conflicting emotions. I feel happy that my friends can drive, yet I’m also jealous that I can’t actually drive yet. Half the pictures or posts on whatever social network I’m on is of a car, or something to do with a car, or perhaps even a picture of a picture of a car with a caption saying, “MY CAR!” (with at least fifty likes).
Sophomores are also going through the dreaded course registration gauntlet. The word “AP” is flying everywhere, and students are spitting out course selection advice or opinions 24/7. Choosing which classes for junior year is no easy task, as it’s very hard to change once you’re in the class and junior year is extremely important for colleges. But let’s be honest: choosing which classes to take is still fun, especially if it starts with “AP.”
Our early academic birds might be struggling through SAT prep in order to get a headstart on the rest of the class. There are many students who are currently prepping for the SAT in order to take it earlier and focus on classes during their junior year. A smart strategy, but it’s hard to muster up the will-power to follow through with something that seems unnecessary because it’s a year early.
Fortunately, a year from now, most of us will have our licenses. We’ll have chosen our courses, studied for SATs, and be buried waist-high in homework. So let’s enjoy only having to step over our homework instead of having to wade in it, because after all, we only get to be sophomores once.
Junior year is scary, it’s stressful, and it’s pretty darn intimidating- no matter how much your counselor tries to prepare and comfort you ahead of time. And unfortunately it’s unavoidable. Junior year is supposed to be the turning point in high school, the year where you finally figure out who you are supposed to be and what you are supposed to be doing with the rest of your life. Your regular response of “I don’t know” to questions about where you want to go to college and what you want to major in is no longer a valid answer. Relatives and your parents’ colleagues simply try and conceal their disdain by hiding behind a fake smile and politely telling you that you have plenty of time.
It’s important to not let the adults, or other students for the matter, get you down. Between, homework, extracurriculars, test prep and countless hours spent at school in class, you’ve got your plate pretty full, so it actually is okay to calm down and remember that you are still a teenager. Even though junior year is pretty demanding it’s still important to let your hair down— and what better a place to do that than (most likely) your first prom.
This school year’s other firsts might not be as exciting as prom, but they’re just as important, if not more so. Never before have acronyms taken over such as overwhelming portion of your life—SAT, ACT, AP, the list goes on and on. Whether you are preparing to take a test with a score out of 2400, 5 or 36 it seems as if that one little number will dictate the rest of your life. I’m certainly not one to be giving out advice, but I can tell you that you are not a number. Everybody knows that the only number that actually matters is the number of days until summer break anyways.
It’s the best of times, and it’s the worst of times. Let’s start with the good news: senior prom is quickly approaching, high school is almost over and grades don’t matter. Well, they still matter to colleges but not to us. Sadly, with this happiness comes second semester slump, unexpected rejection letters and the possibility of getting rescinded. I have unfortunately taken relaxation for granted and am currently struggling with the consequences. Constantly using the careless second semester senior stereotype as an excuse to procrastinate on schoolwork has sucked me into a tornado of trouble: weeks of book homework for AP Chemistry need to be turned in and Mr. Hernandez (as well as Shakespeare) would be disappointed to learn that I am behind on my “King Lear” reading.
The laziness could mean only one thing: I have a bad case of senioritis, and it has reflected in my not-so-decent grades. When third quarter grades arrived, it was definitely a reality check for me. Though I want to enjoy my last year of high school, it’s not going to be all fun and games. The thought of getting rescinded gives me chills, and it would suck to throw away all of my hard work.
Speaking of rescission, college decisions are constantly on the back of my mind. D-Day is something I and a lot of my fellow seniors dread, and it’s nerve-wracking when decisions come out the same day you have a programming test and an in-class essay for English. Fortunately, I know how to deal with the undesirable results. If I get wait-listed, I eat chocolate chip cookies, and if I get rejected, I eat even more chocolate chip cookies while going through a few boxes of tissues. I’ve gotten a lot of good news too though, so I have yet to decide where I’ll be next year.
I’m excitedly counting down the days until graduation, but at the same time, I’m not sure if I’m actually ready to leave. I’ve met so many amazing friends and teachers that I don’t want to say goodbye to them. I still have to get AP testing over with and raise a few of my grades, but I want to spend as much time with my friends before we part our ways. For now, I will find a balance between school work. and fun because you’re only a senior once.