10 Reflections on a Challenging Year

Here are a few lessons from one soon-to-be former junior to the next class.


Aris Pastor

Junior year is full of both memories and lessons, both of which NASH students will carry far into their futures.

Sarah Klosky, Staff Writer

Although every year consists of change, junior year has sparked the most growth in me. My mindset has matured and conformed in ways that only going through 11th grade can do. Junior year undeniably fits the stereotype of being difficult, but at the same time it was a perfect, eye-opening experience that I would never want to change. 


1. Manage your time.

Managing my schedule, between schoolwork, sports, and schoolwork, has by far been the hardest thing for me. Although I was able to get away with putting things off in the past, this year taught me how to allot my time, and the consequences of not. I noticed when I started my school work earlier, like as soon as I got home, I was actually able to get more accomplished and still have plenty of time for extracurriculars and personal health. 


2. Do not do school work on your bed.

I can attest to how detrimental this is for academic success, I have had this habit for the entire year. Because I associate my bed with sleeping, it automatically seems to make it difficult to focus on assignments. I always find myself getting distracted or falling asleep. I recommend doing homework on a table, in a quiet space that is not in your room. 


3. Smile as often as you can!

I can always find something to be upset about, and honestly I notice that most people do. That’s why I always try to have a smile on your face. I am almost always thinking about something that makes me laugh. Believe it or not, it does rub off on people. When you seem happy, it makes people around you happy. 


4. Do things that fuel you, and don’t bring you down.

You only live once on in this world; don’t waste time doing things that never bring you joy. This time in life is important for finding our passions, and the things that are important. If we are doing things that we don’t enjoy, it gets in the way of finding the things we love. 


5. It’s okay to (sometimes) fail.

As long as you don’t make a habit of it, do not let an assignment bring you down too much. I learned that you cannot always do perfect on everything. Assignments do not define you; if you fail something, that does not make you a failure. As long as you are trying, it is okay every once in a while.  


6. A good night’s rest makes a huge difference.

One of my biggest issues this year was running on a lack of sleep. I never realized how much that affected me until I received quality sleep. I am able to think better throughout my day and therefore do better on tests. I barely slept most of the year, and found myself feeling brain fog 24/7. 


7. Get help if you need it.

This is something that I regret not doing this year. When I struggled this year with school, I refused to get help because I felt that I didn’t have extra time. This had a detrimental effect on my grades. It is perfectly acceptable to seek help if you don’t understand something. 


8. Live in the moment. It will be over before you know it.

Even though I tend to complain about the minor inconveniences I feel at the moment, I always find myself missing it later, and wishing I could relive it. My junior year was stressful, but looking back, there were so many amazing memories that occurred in those small moments. 


9. Try to do things that get you out of your comfort zone.

As someone who is mostly introverted, being uncomfortable is by far one of my least favorite feelings. These moments, however, are where I actually tend to learn the most. They allow me to discover new things about myself.


10. Be yourself — you’ll attract the right people. 

This may be the most important lesson that I learned this year. When you stop trying to be somebody that you’re not, the people you have wanted in your life will come along. Finding people who love and value your personality is extremely important, and only meeting those people will reveal that. I became close with so many people this year and I wouldn’t trade them for the world.