Junior Year is the Hardest Year

Here’s some advice about how to navigate junior year from someone who has been there.

Dear Sophomores,

You did it–you’re an upperclassman!

Now school will really start to hit you in the face. The ACT, thinking about a college, and more AP classes and tests than you can count will make you realize why adults say they won’t go to their high school reunion. Junior year is the worst. But honestly, it’s not that bad.

Yes, it’s hard. Yes, you’ll struggle. Yes, school will probably make you cry weekly, but hey, that’s life. It’s just one year. One stinky, emotional, stressful year that will be one of the worst times you’ve ever experienced, and then it’ll be over.

Right now it’s the end of your sophomore year and you can’t wait to stop being a baby of the school. Getting through Algebra and Chemistry finals are your biggest worries, and then you’re sailing free, driving down the road with your mom in the passenger seat because you only have your permit.

It’s just one year. One stinky, emotional, stressful year that will be one of the worst times you’ve ever experienced, and then it’ll be over.”

And then you blink and it’s August.

Thinking about going back to school gives you a headache, and you’re rushing around trying desperately to finish your summer reading project for AP Lang that you told your dad you “forgot” about while on vacation. Posting your schedule on every social media site you can think of to find friends in your new classes. Asking older students and siblings about teachers you’ve never heard of.

You turn around and it’s December. Grades dropping as fast as the temperature and you have to do everything in your power to get as many A’s as you can. Studying for finals every spare minute you can manage. Those two weeks off from school feel like forever away.

You arrive at the Lexington Ice Center for AP exams. It’s mid-May and you can’t believe all you have to do is take one more AP exam and then you’re pretty much done. Two or three finals during finals week to go and your grades are holding strong. Start to say goodbye to senior friends leaving for college soon. Make as many memories as you can.

Before you know it, the hardest year of high school is almost over. Hours spent studying seem to fade away, memories at football games and track meets seem harder to forget, and you realize you’re going to be out of here one lousy year from now.

Junior year will be the hardest, longest, and most difficult year of your life academically. It will push and pull you every which way, will bend and twist your brain until you think it can’t retain any more knowledge, and then it’ll be over. It will fly by so fast you won’t remember most of it, because honestly, it wasn’t that hard.


A Rising Senior