Junior Year: Myth or Fact?

Rising juniors hear a lot about the trials and tribulations of 11th grade, but is it all true?

Maddie Arluna, Staff Writer

As each school year comes to a close, sophomores hear the warning: Get ready, because junior year will be the hardest year of high school. But now that I’m nearly finished with my 11th grade year, I thought it would be useful to evaluate several common junior-year stereotypes. 


Junior year is the most stressful year of high school

If I’m being honest, I think this stereotype is true. There’s just a lot of pressure to excel at everything. I mean, after all, junior year is the year most colleges look at on applications. Balancing school, work, extracurricular activities, and college planning definitely isn’t for the weak. It’s all about balance, not taking on too much at a time, and knowing your limits. It’s a lot to handle, but you just have to be able to balance everything.


You start studying for the SAT/ACT early

I totally agree with this one. Personally, I think studying for them helps you feel more confident and prepared when it comes to taking the actual test. I also think it helps you feel less stressed. I took the SAT twice during my junior year. The first time I didn’t study and tried to cram it all the night before. However, the second time I studied and felt so much less stressed during the days leading up to the test. I also could spend more time reviewing my mistakes.


You have to take hard classes to get into college

This one I disagree with. While it does show that you challenge yourself, it isn’t the end of the world if you choose not to take harder classes. There is so much pressure on juniors to take a bunch of rigorous classes to even have a chance to get into college. Colleges also look at your grades, your extracurriculars, your teacher recommendations, and your personal essay. Also, doing poorly in a challenging class can lower your GPA, while doing well in a basic level class can raise it. 


You have to have a career path picked out

Not at all true! Many rising juniors think they need to have an exact plan about what they want to do after graduation, but many actually do not. Junior year is a time for self-exploration. Seniors often apply to college with an undecided major, and NASH offers plenty of elective options and other classes to figure out what you might be interested in. 


You should only take electives that pertain to your career path

Another one I disagree with. I think it’s important for juniors to try a variety of electives. This opens a door to new possibilities and you might find something you love so much you’d want to make a career out of it. While it is important to take electives your interested in, it’s also important to step out of your comfort zone and try something new. Also, it helps you become a more balanced person and student. You’re able to broaden your range of skills, which you can use to your advantage. 


One last thing — take in every second of junior year, no matter how hard or stressful it might get. One day you walk into NASH, and the next thing you know, you’re graduating from high school. Cherish all the moments, little and big, with your friends and classmates. Take advantage of your time as a high schooler, and most importantly, make it count.