There are four years of a teenager’s life that join together to make the high school experience. These years are known as freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior year. Going into the first year of high school, there are a few “facts” that most students think they know about the upcoming years of their lives. One of the biggest myths of high school is that junior year proves to be the most taxing and stress inducing for students, so is this assumption fact or fiction?
Junior year is the third year of high school, meaning that the students’ first day of 11th grade also begins the second half of their high school experience. At this point, expectations have greatly increased from freshman year, and students are expected to buckle down and become the mature adults they need to be, considering that in one short year they’ll be turning 18.
Former teacher Nathan Warren, who taught all four grades during his time at Hollis Brookline, described junior year as “the time where kids should be doing their absolute best work and on top of that should be getting their college plans in order.”
The idea of doing all this work at once is surely stressful to most.
The silver lining, which seems to both make junior year harder and easier to get through, is the upcoming senior year. 12th grade is the light at the end of the tunnel that makes all the hard work done in junior year seem worth it, but it also tends to scare students by making them think heavily about their futures. Andrew Butler ‘15 believes that “during senior year, teachers lighten up on students a bit more than in junior year,” which lightens the load of 12th grade.
One huge deciding factor to which year will be the hardest of the four is the classes that the student enrolls in. Evan Porter ‘15 thinks that either junior or senior year can be the hardest “depending on how many AP classes the student is taking.”
Similarly to that, Kayleigh Crocker ‘15 strongly felt that senior year was the most grueling of her four years of high school because of the long, impatient wait for college acceptance letters and stress that goes along with making a final decision for her future. Jack Price ‘15 found the wait to be a satisfactory feeling from finally completing the painful college selection process.
Whether or not junior year is the hardest year of high school, it is definitely an extremely important one, and often times, a scary one as well. It is the time where students must finally accept that their lives are changing and responsibility is kicking in and taking hold. College and adulthood are in the near future, and the days of recess and snack time are long over. It’ll prove to be beneficial for students to take junior year seriously and ambitiously, that way senior year can be a time for making final memories and mentally preparing for their next chapter.