To be absolutely blunt, junior spring is hellish. At this point in time, many of you stand knee deep in books about prairie life or something about FDR for your research paper, while also attempting to make a decent dent in your college visits before summer, and, additionally, still attempting to unsuccessfully learn physics, but also don’t forget to apply for Tour Guide, Head Tour Guide, RA, Ag Proctor, E Proctor, Food Committee, Disciplinary Committee, or any other number of those crucial leadership roles which will pave your path to college! Plus, you have to deal with us, the seniors, spending our frees on the Quad and sleeping through study hall each night, while you set your alarm later and later each morning to accommodate your later bedtime. This term is hard, and any senior can tell you their own story about breaking down at some point junior spring about school, or college, or the fact that five of their best friends were graduating without them. Nevertheless, I would like to offer some reminders that I believe shouldn’t be overlooked during this high stress time.
- Stop. I know your own graduation seems like it’ll occur in another lifetime, but time flies quickly on the Island. Take a minute and realize that you will not get another junior spring, even if it is filled with stress and work.
- Begin thinking about what you want to accomplish in your next year (!) at Loomis. Seconds are ticking away from your life here, and it’s up to you to decide what you want to do with the time you have left. Are there people you’ve never talked to, but with whom you’ve always wanted to be friends? Have you always wanted to try JV Girls’ tennis, but haven’t had the necessary endurance and integrity to tryout until this year? In the words of Shia LaBeouf, “JUST. DO IT!!!!!”
- Count on your teachers. Loomis faculty are well aware of the struggles students face in this term and are more understanding than you may think. If you’ve ever struggled asking for extensions on papers or requesting to take a quiz a different day for fear of your teachers’ collective wrath, you’ve gotta break out of that. Your teachers want to see you succeed–believe it or not, they weren’t (primarily) hired to make your life a living Hell.
- Count on your Trusted Adult™. By now, you probably have someone on campus–a teacher, coach, or dean–who you confide in. DO THIS. Most of the things I stressed over my junior spring required me to talk it out. A lot of times, your worries don’t need advice from others, you just need to put your thoughts into words and let them out into the world. If you struggle to find an adult on campus, counselors are always happy to talk things out with you. Or I can be your Trusted Adult™, I turn eighteen in two weeks.
- Be a friend, have a friend! This is the human version of “take a penny, leave a penny.” If you’re uncomfortable talking to adults about your life, vent to one of your friends, but remember to offer the same service to them if they need it. If you didn’t have a friend, I’ll be your friend.
- Make a finsta! I know this sounds pretty weird, but having some social media outlet that only your close friends follow can be extremely helpful. It’s a great place to be your unfiltered self, whether you need to write a rant about your day or if you want to make fun of yourself. I would say that my mood always improves after I use my finsta to poke fun at myself.
- SLEEP. You probably can’t get your 9.25 hours every night (or any night), but you can always choose sleep over Netflix. I love Gilmore Girls and Friends as much as the next gal, but I urge you to sleep instead. I don’t want to sound like that sleep psychologist at all, but sleep does wonders for your long term memory and your sanity (probably). If you have a recitation first period on a Monday, and you’ve spent all day Sunday practicing it, but can’t get the middle portion down, DO NOT STAY UP TRYING TO FIGURE IT OUT. Go to sleep, and, as your short term memories are transferred to long term, you will wake up with more confidence in your performance.
- Boarders, get off campus. Whether it’s on the weekends, for a day, or even an hour, do your best to go out to a movie or go shopping. Day students get to go home and destress, but you live in the environment of your stress. Really make an attempt to get out of the competitive atmosphere of Loomis for a little break.
- “Where should I go?” you ask? Here are some options: head to town and get lunch at the Tavern/Dom’s; ask your favorite day student (they can drive now) if you can stay over for a night or just hang out for the day; go visit family who live nearby; hit up Blue Back Square; see a show at the Bushnell; attend another Women’s March; use Facebook to pick a random CT event to go to, like Monster Jam.
- Remember that you are enough. You don’t have to take on your research paper, your first college essay draft, writing/directing a One Act, going to track practice, applying for Head Tour Guide and Ag Proctor, writing an article for the World Bulletin, and prepping for a Hubbard talk all in the same week. Pick the things you really want to do (+your research paper) and focus on that. Maybe pick to direct or write a One Act and do the first Hubbard talk next year. You don’t need to do everything to be successful. You need to do the things that are important and interesting to you to be happy.
- Don’t compare yourself to everyone else. It’s very easy to find yourself sizing yourself up next to your classmates, especially since we have such small classes and are all super talented! Focus on you and where you’re going. It would be a shame to lose part of your unparalleled self by worrying about what the person next to you is doing.
I will not deny that junior spring is a challenge to most people, but I also know that you’re all on the verge of one of the best feelings at Loomis. When we graduate, we pass the baton to you. You will become the oldest on campus, and with that honor comes old wisdom. Not really, but you do appear to have your act together to the underclassmen. Nevertheless, to get to that point, you have to get through the next few months. I know you can. I’m weak and bad at physics, but I made it through. When you think about it, none of the class of 2017 died last spring. We’re all alive and well, making college decisions, and soon you will too. Power through and finish strong, for you’re about to cross into a new and sacred realm of Loomis.