End of the year sparks fear, but Juniors listen up


Lexie Meserve, Columnist

The end of the school year is approaching. Class of 2022 is on their way out, going off to begin their lives, the fresh spring breeze coming in… it’s a refreshing yet scary time. We know how the seniors are probably feeling, but what about the juniors? Nearly 3 months of our freshman year was stolen by covid, our entire sophomore year was split up between remote and in-person and full of covid restrictions. Even this year is off. The mask mandate was lifted not even a month ago, and even with that gone there’s still the effects of remote learning on us: Having to re-adjust to the classroom, the various anxieties that come from school, etc. Junior year is inherently the toughest year in high school, and it so happens to be the year we’re thrown into. So, how do we feel about approaching the end of it? Do we have any regrets looking back? Do we know what our future looks like? I asked 3 juniors these burning questions, and the responses were diverse. If you’re a junior struggling to answer these questions, this article may help you. 


We’ll start with how we feel with the end of the year approaching. Junior 1 was excited to hear that the end of the year is coming, though they had some fear. “I think I’m just glad summer’s coming up,” they told me. “I feel good. I mean my grades are doing pretty good, I’m doing good… just realizing your whole highschool life is going to be over soon is scary, moving away from home.” Junior 2 was ready to get out of here. “I feel very happy,” they affirmed. “I’m so glad that I’m almost done with highschool. I hate doing work.” Junior 3 answered simply, “I’m excited but also scared,” the common emotion amongst us. And Junior 4’s answer was quick and simple, “I’m just excited for summer, honestly.” For some, the end of junior year is a relief, like the light at the end of the tunnel. But for others it’s come too fast, making it hard to comprehend and hard to plan-out. And both reactions are okay and valid, everybody is different but we’re all in this together. 


This upcoming summer is the last summer before we all go our separate ways. How are we planning to spend it? Junior 1 is quick and straight to the point, saying, “I’ll probably just work a bunch and get a car, maybe go on a lot of camping trips.” Junior 2 plans on being pretty productive as well. “I plan to spend it working,” they said. “Probably at Walmart, getting money and doing driver’s ed. My parent’s have been saving up to get me a car. And I actually bike a lot during the summer.” Junior 3 wants to spend their summer planning. “I think I’ll look at more colleges,” they explained. “And travel. Just to get that experience before senior year.” Junior 4 didn’t have any plans really, saying, “I’ll just work over the summer.” It seems like earning money and planning is at the top of everybody’s lists, which is to be expected. It’s on my list, too. 


Now, the big question: What do we see ourselves doing in the future? Many are afraid of this question. We’ve heard it our whole lives but now it’s urgent – what direction are we going? Junior 1 had bits and pieces she was working with. “I know I don’t want the snow anymore,” they explained. “And I want to work with animals… do with that what you will.” Junior 2 nearly left the room when I asked this question. They said, “What do I see myself doing? Good question, but I don’t know.” And Junior 3 saw college in their future. “Hopefully I am in college,” they said. “And hopefully I graduate and get a job.” They’ve got the structure planned out and they’re going from there. Junior 4 had the same idea. “Going to college for sure… probably a 4-year one. I’m hoping to go into some business management classes or something,” they shared. “I may go into dentistry but it’s undecided.” Everybody has a different plan, some barely have plans – but that is totally okay. As long as you’re actively pondering the question, testing things out to see what you like, you’ll do just fine. I’m thinking about waiting a couple years before attending college, entering the real world to figure out what I’m interested in. That’s another viable option amongst the plethora of options. 


Finally, just a short question to end things off, do we have any regrets looking back? With the whole covid crisis, time was taken from our high school experience. Do any of us regret how we spent our time during covid? Do we regret extracurricular choices? Junior 1 curses covid. “I don’t have any regrets,” they continued. “I just wish our high school years were different, we didn’t get sophomore year at all really.” Even though some were in-person learning and others were remote, there was a disconnect. Everything changed and it made some people feel like school never happened at all. A whole year of waking up and opening a laptop didn’t equal school. Junior 2 regretted some past decisions. “My regret is not trying hard enough freshman year when covid started,” they stated. “My grades were great, I got A’s and B’s, passing all my classes, and then covid happened.” Which is what happened to a great deal of students. Junior 3’s regrets strayed away from covid. “I regret wasting time in choir,” they explained. “I feel like there were a lot of other things I could’ve done, I just regret pushing myself to do what my other friends did so I could find a place to belong.” It’s easy to get caught up doing what you think will make you happy, when in reality, you’re just trying to appease someone else. Junior 4 regretted her overall demeanor, saying “I regret not being as outgoing as I could have been… still have another year.”


We’re all preparing to go off into the real world, and we’re all handling it differently. So if you have different plans than your friend, don’t feel bad about it. If your plans aren’t well established, no worries. You have time left. Some people take half their life learning and discovering things until they know what they want to pursue. Your future depends on you.