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Junior Year Of High School: Spare Me the Tough Junior Year Stuff

I’m going to open up with a piece of advice for all of you out there in the adult-world.

If you ever, in your lifetime, cross paths with a rising junior do not, do not, tell them they’ve got a tough year ahead of them.

Trust me. We know.

As an eleventh grader with several AP classes, two sports, a handful of other extra curriculars (my personal favorite is SAT tutoring every Wednesday night after cross country practice) and homework, I definitely know.

I can’t count the number of grandparents, family friends, or college tour guides who have mentioned how hard my junior year of high school will be. I tend to be sarcastic. I’m often tempted to reply with, “Well, I guess I hadn’t thought of that, but now that you mention it….”

And yes, I probably am being a little cynical. What else is my neighbor—whom I see once a year—going to talk to me about? But hearing that constant reminder of how little I’ll be socializing and how much I’ll be stressing tends to wear on me.

Of course eleventh grade isn’t all about stressing. (At least not all the time.) I’ve only had a few days of schoo,l and already I feel out of that “sophomore slump.” There’s no better feeling than walking down the halls as an upperclassman. Suddenly, I’m one of those big scary juniors whom I found intimidating just two short autumns ago. Of course I’m probably getting carried away, after all it is a little soon for “senioritis,” but I’m almost there!

There’s something great about knowing that you’re being looked to in the halls or on the sports fields for where to go and what to do. And there’s definitely something great about finally being out of the irrelevancy of 10th grade!

So perhaps that’s one little silver lining to complement our year of 11th grade classes, SATs, AP tests, and college talks at family gatherings.

Rachel Baker is a junior in high school who writes about everything from the college search to learning to drive.

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