High School’s Hardest Year: Junior Year. Or is it?

The infamous junior year. Some high schooler’s quiver in fear at the sound of that name, but is that true for the majority?
The conception of junior year is that it is the hardest year in high school. To dive deeper into this idea, high schoolers gave their input.
Claudia Larrison, a freshman at Central High School, is all too familiar with idea that junior year is the hardest. When asked if she has heard that junior year is supposedly the hardest year high school, she replied, “I have an older brother, and he was always saying that junior year was the hardest, I also have friends who were juniors, they were always saying that junior year is actually the hardest, and, like, it matters the most for colleges.” For a more experienced opinion, seniors were asked similar questions.
For seniors Grace Rispoli and Scott Best, this conception rang true to their junior year experiences. Grace and Scott both went into junior year knowing that it would probably be harder than their previous high school experiences. Scott knew that this would be the case because friends, that had finished junior year, told him so. Similarly, Grace had been forewarned be her older sister. Now, after going through the process themselves, they are able to confirm that junior year is harder than previous years, and harder than the first half of their senior year.

But, Grace is clear that the difficulty of junior year is fundamentally up to the student. She says, “The thing about junior year is that everyone knows that’s the last year that, like, colleges are going to see, it’s when you get to choose your own classes, a little more, and you have more opportunities for APs . . . I think it definitely depends on what people decide to take for junior year, but like, a lot more difficult classes start opening up and become available junior year.”
Liara Aber, a junior, agrees with Grace. She says, “I think for some people, it can definitely be they’re hardest year yet, but for other people they could take the easy way out. The start of this year I definitely think is harder than the last two years, but I think a lot of that is just me putting the pressure on myself.” For additional proof that junior year is harder than the rest of high school, Mrs. Decker, an english teacher at Central, weighed in.
When asked on whether she has heard of this conception she stated, “I definitely have heard this, I hear it mostly from my junior students, and especially first semester, the ones who are just becoming aware of it.” When asked why this might be the case, she said, “As far as English goes there is a big switch from reading YA Lit or choice texts and then being asked to read certain canonical works that are a little more challenging to get into, or even the pressure that the AP curriculum has is greater. As far as overall, I know science is a big challenge for junior year for a lot of students, and history is.”
According to students and a teacher at Central High School, junior year is the hardest due to the increased workload, more freedom, harder classes, and the pressure of college. So with all that information in mind it is easy to conclude that junior is, in fact, the hardest year in high school.


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