Junior Year: expectations vs. reality

Written by Mikaela Wayne

While junior year is notorious for being the worst year of high school, in my experience, junior year has been more difficult in some ways and much easier in others. Throughout my year so far, I have discovered a lot about how my past two years in high school have affected me by seeing the progress I have made as a student and person. I was also hit with some new difficulties I had not had to deal with in the past.

Entering my junior year, having heard all the rumors about the torture that is the third year of high school, I felt less than equipped for all that was to come. I entered into shaky territory, not knowing what my first AP class or SAT would be like, and how I could balance that with being a captain on the water polo team and starting to look into college. It was, and still is, very overwhelming. Becoming an upperclassman, I had more responsibilities placed on me than I had ever had in the past—along with more work and much less time. All of the rumors about junior year were confirmed for me just within the first two weeks of the school year as a massive workload was placed in front of me almost every day. However, after having some time to reflect, I realized that in a lot of ways, my junior year was turning out to be a lot easier than previous years in ways I hadn’t even considered. Freshman and sophomore year are times to meet brand new people and to find the ones who you appreciate and who appreciate you the most. Now, during my junior year, I have finally started to figure out who those people are for me. It wasn’t until this year that I found those who I felt most comfortable with, and now I do not have to spend as much time and energy on trying to figure out who those people are.

Another aspect of junior year that I have found much easier is feeling like a part of Gunn. I now understand what it means to be a part of the Gunn community, I know all of the best homecoming chants, and I can start taking classes that I am passionate about. It is extremely difficult to get used to high school, as it is so different from middle school and it wasn’t until this year that I felt almost completely adjusted. Also, even though the workload is much heavier during this year, the two years prior have equipped me with the best study skills I’ve ever had.

Overall, while junior year is different for everyone, I believe it is nothing to be afraid of. At first, it seemed exponentially more difficult than sophomore year, but I have found that many things are much easier in comparison.