—Christian Slater, Staff Writer—
Junior year is often the year that many students start feeling the obligations to succeed in relation to college and their future. Juniors have much to worry about going into ‘ the most important year ‘ of their high school career.
As Junior Luke Olsen put it, “ The stress levels of my freshman and sophomore years were very low because I wasn’t given a lot of homework and I was provided with less tedious work.” This goes to show that junior year is undoubtedly the most rigorous of the four years and most important in a success determining factor.
At the end of sophomore year, many students are persuaded to take many college level classes that could affect their GPA in a negative or positive way. Are these college level classes necessary to get into good colleges? Colleges love to see students taking rigorous classes to an extent. It’s almost as if regular honors or standard classes aren’t pleasing colleges in the same way. Acceptance rates get more competitive every year due to the implementations of new credits and boosted GPA’s, but the key to benefiting from them depends on your strengths as a student and commitment. Is the workload worth it? From personal experience, the workload of a college level class is only worth it if a student can gain college credit or a GPA benefiting grade.
As Junior Rachel Northcutt put it, “Junior year is a huge jump from sophomore year which was no surprise but I definitely struggled the first nine weeks trying to get used to the workload.”
Teachers often forget that students are taking multiple AP’s and the accumulation of these classes result in two hours of studying and homework per AP. This estimate does not include necessary basic classes, or even time for extracurriculars or sports. Parents and teachers can only imagine how much stress students go through on a daily basis due to the constantly changing society and outdated experience from their high school years. Rachel states, “ With sports and other activities, I am constantly stressing.”
Every year, counselors around Cosby encourage all students to take college level classes as an outlet to go above and beyond. This is a good thing! The counselors at Cosby want students to succeed, but at times high school students are ill informed of the specific workload and curriculum before taking such meticulous classes. Although college level classes are beneficial, in that you have the opportunity to gain credits and obtain a substantially boosted GPA, students feel obligated to take these intense courses and a good majority of them over book themselves and end up dropping into lower levels as a result. My best advice would be to take limited college level courses and only take ones that you can handle based on your schedule and your subject preference.
Junior year has been categorized with constant break downs, late nights studying and doing homework, and consecutive stimulus tests on topics that were not focused on in class. Cosby alumni Jordan Elam states, “ Part of the stress was due to the difficulty of tests and learning how to study properly.” But Jordan emphasized to me that junior year was all worth it in the end if you’re willing to work and that the study habits gained are very beneficial toward success in college.
Junior year is just another year. Don’t stress too much. Be proactive in choosing the right classes that pertain to who you are as a student and start a new trend where junior year is the year to remember. Success is determined on your mindset, don’t let stress get the best of you.