The Pressure Needs To Be Taken Off Of Junior Year

Sophia Brownsword, News Editors

According to most college preparatory websites, the 11th grade of high school is the most important in terms of post-graduate plans. Junior year is set up to be the most rigorous year, where students prove their academic capability in one final year before the dreaded college application process during senior year. Students going into junior year tend to cram their schedules, under the advice from the rest of society surrounding preparation for college. However, as much as junior year matters, its status as a make or break year is overdramatized. Effort is required every single year from high school, and referring to junior year as the “most important” not only takes emphasis off of all the other years, but it places unnecessary stress onto one single year. 

Coming into junior year, the most important thing to focus on is just giving your best effort. Just like you are advised freshman, sophomore and senior year. Junior year is the last year before college planning preparations but the most important thing to keep in mind is that it is just another year. The main reason that junior year is referred to as rigorous is because it is the year that high schoolers tend to stress over their academics as well as extracurriculars and overexert themselves due to their anxieties about applying to college. Students spread themselves too thin, which can be a major cause of the stress observed in junior year. There is more opportunity to take harder classes and be involved in more with the school, and under the pressure from the daunting senior year ahead, juniors tend to over-exert themselves. 

While putting in effort every year is important, it is also important to understand that effort should not mean compromising on other things that are significant in life. For example, spending time with friends, going to sports games, attending the Film Fest or other events and even just taking more time for yourself. While working hard in school is necessary for building towards the post-high school future, it should not mean giving up the other enjoyable aspects of life. A lot of the time in junior year, students tend to forget this factor, as their thoughts mostly resonate around the unknown future ahead. 

Being in junior year, with one more year of highschool left and two years down, students can look back and be so surprised that the time has already flown past them. The surprise factor coupled with the added stress of the third year being allegedly the “most important” year of highschool can force students to forget about what is meaningful and important about highschool in the first place. So when one year of high school is referred to as the most important, the pressure can overwhelm so fast that the important moments are forgotten about. Keeping calm and taking it day by day is the most important, because failing to maintain a balance between school and personal life is worse than looking back and saying “I wish that I got an A on this quiz.”