Junior experience

Junior year is undoubtedly one of the most rigorous, stressful, and challenging times for any high school student.

With mounting personal expectations and pressure to perform academically, Junior year can feel overwhelming. In addition to the strenuous course load, which for many students includes several AP and Honors classes, Juniors begin taking SAT and ACT preparatory courses. These courses are meant to strengthen the student’s skills for standardized tests that colleges require during a student’s Junior year.

“Pushed to the brink with SATs and ACTs, Juniors try to balance a healthy amount of school, home, and social activities, many with great success and others with subpar performance,” said Gabe Valdovinos ’18.

Even though Junior year may seem daunting, there are some benefits exclusive to Juniors at Jesuit High School.

Most students have acquired their driver’s licenses by Junior year and can park in the school parking lot. Juniors can also apply to become a ground crew member on the Freshman Overnight Retreat, where they can get involved and connect with other Juniors.

With the stresses of academic achievement and school involvement, it’s easy for Juniors to feel completely overrun. Adding to this pressure, colleges tend to look for students who are well-rounded and doing as much as they can in high school. However, the year is an essential time and the pain does not last forever.

“There have been countless nights of homework and more than a few nights where I’ve been left wondering when the light at the end of the tunnel would start to appear,” said Zach Kniestedt ‘18. “But what I’ve found over the course of this year in particular is that all those struggles are only temporary.”

With each passing year level, there are significant milestones and rites of passage that students must go through, and Junior year is no exception. Part of these rites of passage are getting involved in the Jesuit community and brotherhood.

“I cannot stress enough how important it is to get involved and make memories,” said Gino Ibanez ‘18. “What is important is that just like those who have gone through the brotherhood before you, you push through and succeed beyond all expectations.”

Having already seen this difficult year through to the end, most Seniors would agree with Gino. The best way to make it through the year is to get involved by joining clubs, teams, or the arts, and go to sporting events and dances. Making the most of Junior year is the best way to make a difficult school year enjoyable.