Junior year in review

Reflecting on the high school struggles on Shorewood’s soon to be seniors

by Angelo Harper, staff

It’s safe to say that the class of 2023 has had a very unconventional high school experience. We really only had half a year to enjoy the “normal” high school experience when we were freshmen, but then the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country forcing us to stay home for what we thought was just a couple of weeks at the time. Those two weeks turned into months which later turned into the rest of the school year. 

Then sophomore year comes around and we are forced to attend school virtually for the first half of the year. While we had the option of going back to in-person classes, we were split into two groups so classes were significantly smaller and much shorter than our normal block periods which was strange for those who had only experienced normal schooling. It’s no surprise that junior year has been even harder than it should be with juniors having difficulties adjusting to what high school used to be like. Combine this with SATs and worrying about what their future will look like whether they want to attend college, trade school, the workforce, or even the military and the result is a really busy and stressful year.

I’ve had people tell me that junior year is one of the toughest years of high school and that senior year is a lot easier; leading me to believe that junior year is the year that everyone suffers and toughs it out in order to move on and graduate. Plus, on top of all of this, juniors have to deal with things going on in their personal lives and issues going on in the world like social and political topics such as Black Lives Matter, the invasion of Ukraine, and climate change along with many working outside of school and having to be more independent since a lot of juniors are driving and taking steps on their own towards their future based on what career they want to pursue.

The truth is many juniors like myself feel the pressure and stress of not only high school but life in general which can lead to mental health issues from feeling overworked and not having any free time to themselves. Having to wake up early in the morning to make it to our first classes also means that we are not getting enough sleep which makes paying attention in classes even harder for some people. All of these issues being piled on us is the reason why junior year is notorious for being the most miserable.