Junior Year Filled With Stress

By Deanna Tairi ’16

Junior year is often known as the worst year of high school. However, the real mystery is what makes junior year so much worse than all the other years. And how can you cope with the stress of being a junior? If you’re a junior who is feeling stressed out, tired and even overwhelmed, there are ways to help you cope and alleviate your stress. In severe cases don’t be afraid to seek help: know yourself.

As many people know, junior year is an extremely important year which can greatly affect your future. However, it is not the only year that matters. Junior year consists of having to study for the SAT, taking AP courses, looking into colleges, deciding on a major, sports and for some even juggling a job and it can become overwhelming.

Alyssa Soto ’16 said, “There are so many things I planned to accomplish this year but every time I try, I feel like I’m unsure of where to even begin.”

Guidance counselors; Ms. Stephanie Gluck and Ms. Maggie Allen, emphasized the importance of junior year as being the last full year to appear on the transcripts that colleges look at. In addition to that, junior year is also the hardest classes you have taken up until that point in your high school experience. Ms. Gluck explained that one of the biggest misconceptions is that the first two years of high school don’t matter, because they do.

Ms Gluck said, “The biggest piece of advice I can give juniors is to not procrastinate. Procrastination will lead to higher stress levels, time management and planning ahead will help.”

According to the school’s psychologist, Ms. Kristin Krase, PhD, most of the students who find her on their own are juniors. She said that the problem may not always be school, but it is always a problem that is lurking up in the background. She said to keep in mind that you don’t have to stick to the decisions you make now.

“It is time to come see me when it is something really impacting your life,” said Ms. Krase, “If you notice that things you used to do for fun are no longer fun you need to talk to someone.”

According to the article “Teens More Stressed-Out than Adults, Survey Shows,” by Jonel Aleccia published by NBC news.  “On average, teens reported their stress level was 5.8 on 10-point scale, compared with 5.1 for adults.”

Ms Gluck said, “The biggest piece of advice I can give juniors is to not procrastinate. Procrastination will lead to higher stress levels, time management and planning ahead will help.”

In the article “High School’s Worst Year?” in the Wall Street Journal by Jonathan Kaufman said, “More than half the students reported that they had dropped an activity or hobby they enjoyed because schoolwork took too much time. More than three-quarters reported experiencing one or more stress-related physical problems in the month prior to the survey, with more than 50% reporting headaches, difficulty sleeping, or exhaustion. About 9% said they had illegally used prescription drugs like Adderall or Ritalin to stay up and study; 25% said they used stimulants like Red Bull or No-Doz,”

Based on the article “High school’s Worst Year” from The Wall Street Journal by Jonathan Kaufman a 17 year old junior in Farmington, Connecticut recently decided not to apply to any Ivy League schools because she said, “I don’t want it to be such a competitive atmosphere. I don’t want to put myself in this situation again”

In 2011 a secondary schools estimated that approximately 4 percent males and 5 percent of females from ages 12-15 were smokers at the time. On the other hand 13 percent males and 14 percent females had smoked within the week before the survey. These results show the incase with age and potential stress, as said on http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au.

Although school may become overwhelming, there are coping methods suggested by counselors to help you get through junior year: They consist of planning ahead, staying on top of your assignments, doing things you enjoy, talking to peers/adults and praticing breathing techniques.

Junior year is the time in a student’s life when everything becomes “real.” Suddenly college isn’t too far away and you need to start getting serious . As a freshman you think that you have plenty of time to spare. However, as a Junior you realize that this is it; you need to get ready and make smart decisions. A lot of pressure plays a key role into the increase in stress levels. Don’t let junior year get the best of you, talk to a counselor or any adult and seek help. Take charge of your future and be proactive.

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