Is Junior Fall Stressful?

Joe Berger '20

When I was first assigned this article, I thought the topic was named “Junior Fail” rather than “Junior Fall”. And, quite frankly, “Junior Fail” is probably a more fitting term for the beginning of my 11th-grade year. As a sophomore, I would often anxiously question upperclassmen about their experience as juniors. I typically got the same answer: a permutation of answers like “it will be the most stressful nine months of your life,” and “you will drown in work.”

At the time, I thought these juniors were just high and mighty upperclassmen trying to frighten the young’uns. But now, as a member of the Junior Class, I can confirm that they WERE NOT bluffing. As a person who has prioritized maintaining a solid sleep schedule, I now feel fortunate to get more than six hours of sleep a night, an amount that would have killed me previously. I have had to get creative with my time like never before. Setting my alarm an hour early is my newest technique — I leave about 60 minutes’ worth of work from the night before and finish it before the class day begins. That way I am more alert and efficient than I would be staying up late at night. Weekends are my saving grace for a) catching up on sleep and b) catching up on reading and vocabulary drills for CL English Seminar.

I miss the feeling of unlimited free time I used to have as a freshman and sophomore, but honestly, I don’t really know what I did besides play a lot of basketball in the gym! I know I am dedicating my weekends to a greater purpose, and that keeps me going.  For any of the underclassmen or parents reading, this article is not intended to scare you. Although junior year is tough, it is completely controllable with proper time-management and hard work. Good luck!