Is Junior Year Really as Hard as People Make It Out to Be?    


Valeria Carrillo, Staff Writer

There’s no doubt that high school is hard. There are countless movies, tv shows, and even songs that portray high school as the absolute worst time in someone’s life. Even though high school as a whole has a bad reputation there’s a certain grade that takes the cake as far as bad reputations go. That grade is of course 11th or most commonly referred to as junior year. There are a lot of jokes amongst high school students that junior year is one worth bracing yourself for. I’ve decided to put this rumor to rest and finally answer the question: Is the junior year really as hard as people make it out to be?  

The only way to get a proper answer to this question was to interview our very own Edison students and have them give their own personal reviews of their junior year. To get an introduction to what their junior years looked like I asked a simple starting question, “Can you describe you junior year in one word?”

To which Yaslin Carrasco (11) replied “Overwhelming”, Hudson Browning (11) said “Terrible”, and Mckalah Jimenez (12) described it as “Traumatic”. Such short words provided me with a larger understanding of how exactly students viewed this year.  

Every year of one’s academic career provides its highs and lows. My next question gave students a chance to tell me about some positive or negative things about their junior year. As an example, I asked them if anything was hard or easy in terms of education such as classes, grades, lessons, etc. Monique De La Rosa (11) replied, “I guess some good things are all of the opportunities I’ve learned about outside of school. Teachers like Ms. Renfro really try to show you stuff that other teachers can at times brush over. Like new job opportunities for example. A negative would be getting back to school after last year and trying to find motivation.” As for senior points of view Mckalah Jimenez (12) answered my question by saying “Throughout quarantine it was very hard because, it was all online.” It isn’t just academics that prove to be a negative in one’s experience as a junior, Matthew Dominguez (11) says, “Junior year is where you’re actually academically challenged. Where most go from 16-17 and that leap is the most crucial in teen years.” There’s a lot of negatives and positives about this year but, every individual student gets to pick out which side outweighed the other.  

One of the reasons students could attribute junior year as the worst is because of the nationally hated state testing. State testing usually occurs throughout elementary and high school but is most enforced during junior year. Therefore, I asked Hudson Browning (11) and Monique De La Rosa (11) what they thought of these tests, to which Hudson (11) replied, “It can burn and die in a hole.” Monique (11) explained that “State testing is dumb because no one tries. I think they should give us things if we do good on it. If you tell a kid to take a test just because they won’t do it. But if you tell a kid hey, take this test if you do good and answer correctly, I’ll give you money or improved school conditions. We might do better and try harder.” Yaslin Carrasco (11) and Ethan Yanez (11) and Riley Lose (11) agreed that state testing is easy and didn’t impact their junior year in any way.  

When I was a sophomore, I was definitely afraid to go into my junior year. After so many jokes and horror stories about this year, I can only assume sophomores and freshmen feel a similar anxiety. To help soothe that fear for this year I asked these students if they had any advice or study tips for upcoming juniors. Ethan Yanez (11) replied by saying, “Don’t procrastinate. I know so many people tell you this and I’m pretty sure you’re just like ehhh. But procrastinating will mess you up. Procrastination will kill you in your junior year.”

Both juniors and seniors agreed on the fact that you should absolutely try to get 8 hours of sleep every night. Yaslin Carrasco (11) even says “For calculus, I would recommend you get a full 8 hours of sleep so you can focus on what your teacher has to say.” Cristian Gonzales (12) also says “Just focus on work when you can and then focus on sleep when you can.” It might seem appealing to stay up until 3 am to finish all of your homework but, it’s a big sacrifice for your mental and physical health.  

After so many explanations, stories, and pieces of advice for and of junior year I finally asked students if the junior year is as hard as people make it out to be. Monique De La Rosa says, “Junior year is only hard if you make it hard. It’s really dependent on your classes.” Matthew Dominguez replies to this question by saying “Junior year was a really tough year for me. I say it is tough like it’s said to be, but it can be over-exaggerated. Everything can be okay if you find your perfect balance.” Then to add on Yaslin Carrasco says, “It’s even harder than they make it out to be.” She also explains that organization and time management is key to the workload that accompanies junior year.  

There are similar opinions regarding the difficulty of junior year. In my own personal opinion, it wasn’t as horrible as I thought it would be. But at the same time, I’m aware that I’m speaking from a very “lucky” position. My sophomore year was hard and I would even go as far as saying traumatic for various reasons, so I decided to not take classes that I knew could damage my mental health. Not to mention I have had an incredible support system in the past year. When I look back at my junior year I can only say positive things because I was surrounded by my incredible friends and family not to mention my classes weren’t too hard so I could focus on more things outside of school. But for everyone, it’s definitely not the same. Something that I believe a lot of students can agree on is that your junior year is very dependent on the classes you take and how you choose to manage those classes. My biggest piece of advice is to put yourself first. Something that I’ve learned throughout high school so far is that no matter how accomplished I am, how much I’ve killed myself for an A none of it is really fulfilling unless I’m happy with myself. Don’t carry more than you can handle and take care of yourself.