Dear Class of 2020

By: Malena Esposito

When they say, “junior year is the hardest year of high school,” they really mean it. I wish it wasn’t so, but I’ve cried more times this year than any other, and although I tend to have a more emotional personality, I don’t think I’m alone in that statement. Regardless of how many DBQ’s  you wrote, how many rhetorical devices you learned, or how much energy you calculated, how many formulas you memorized, junior year was a struggle for us all.

However, in hopes of easing the torment for the class of 2020, I’ve compiled a series of quotes from the class of 2019 giving advice to the younger year. But I will warn you: nothing can prepare you for your third year of high school.

*Submissions may have been edited for clarity and/or grammar*

“Actually do the homework and classwork that is assigned. Because even if you aren’t a good test taker, like me, then those really keep your grades up and help you. It balances out the bad grades, and they are easy 100s so it’s a bad idea to not take advantage of them!” – Caroline Zera

“My advice to rising juniors is to DO YOUR HOMEWORK. NO matter how stupid or long it is, getting good homework grades can really help keep your grades up.” – Alissa Brennan

“Use your counselor and ask questions!! They help guide you through what you need to get through high school. Also, surround yourself with positive people who support and care for you. Don’t get into drama!” – Yasmeen Ayesh

“Pay attention! Understand that even if it’s an easier AP class like Psych or a super hard class like APUSH, they are very information and instruction heavy. I learned that following the rubric is key and all teachers stress that rubric and integrate it into their teaching, so just pay attention and be attentive and everything will be cool. Also, if you need stress relieving days, make sure to take those, they help a lot.” – Chase Guthrie

“Work hard, never give up, but above all: Focus on your health, that’s the most important thing you can do. Take care of yourself.” – Madison Geigle

“Make sure you only take what you can handle. If you do a lot of extracurriculars, take a ton of AP classes, and have to worry about the SAT and everything, you’re going to get really stressed out. Despite how important this year is, it’s also really important to have fun with your friends and enjoy living, just as much as doing well in school. I would also suggest taking the SAT/ACT early, and take it as many times as possible.” – Rhyan Given

“Don’t fall behind.” – Carson Drake

“I think my main advice would just be to stay focused. Junior year goes by in a blur, but not an easy one. If you lose track of something and you lose time, it’ll be pretty hard to get back on your feet. Staying organized and on top of the game is key!!” – Emmie Black

“Um, my advice is to skip junior year. Just don’t do it. Just kidding. Remember to manage your time and find time to relax and hang out with friends because the only way to stay calm is to take a break.” – Gracee Samila

“My survival guide: 1) Take mental health days off. Nobody expects you to suffer so bad for the sake of school. 2) Bringing food and candy to school is very handy in case you get hungry. I bring food almost every day and give them out to my friends without them asking. It makes them really happy and I kinda feel like Moses for a second so it’s a win-win. 3) Carrying chapstick, gum, and mints will refresh you if you feel crusty. 4) It’s only as stressful as you make it. Be realistic when setting tasks for yourself. You’re only capable of so much, and that’s a-okay.” – Julia Fowlkes

“Don’t juul.” – Eli Glick

“Take as many APs as you think you can handle. Don’t undersell yourself, but don’t stress yourself out, either. Take AP courses you’re interested in. If you’re math and science oriented, take math and science AP classes. If you like history and English, take APUSH and AP Lang and AP World History. If you spread yourself too thin across multiple subjects, you can’t focus on one and find out what you actually love and want to study in college.” – Felicity Newbury

“Do NOT take useless AP classes.” – Aditi Shekar

“Junior year is by far the most stressful and crazy year for anybody. The amount of stress you endure is mind boggling. Everything is stressful, from the SATs, taking AP classes, getting your first job, balancing your social life and sleep schedule, to realizing that the real world is approaching. Although it is important to work hard at school and be firm in your goals and plans, there is no need to obsess over it. I’ve seen both myself and my classmates lose countless hours of sleep, of free time, or to be honest, mental stability, stressing over the smallest things. Take time to just destress and relax. At the end of the day, school shouldn’t be your whole world. Also, don’t lose sight of your goals. Many times during junior year I was so frustrated, thinking that my hard work was pointless. However, you have to remember that there is an end, a light at what seems to be a never ending tunnel. All in all, work hard and accomplish your goals, but don’t get trapped in a school bubble. Hang out with your friends, sleep in on the weekends, and stop stressing over trivial things. Contrary to what your grades or mood at the time reflect, you are an amazing person and it will all work out in the end!” – Sydney Rojas

“Work as hard as possible and don’t procrastinate because there is too much school, work, and life to worry about.”  – Grayson Latham

“Don’t stress the small things.” – Shae Eggert

“Always have eyes that see the best in people.” – Kate Baker

“I guess my greatest piece of advice would be to not take every AP course because you’ll regret not being able to experience your junior year to the fullest because of the workload you’ll get with the classes, but at the same time, don’t spend all your time off with your friends because it’s the most important year. Also, don’t spend all your coin off campus.” – Shae Dunnigan

“Make sure you stay on top of your work and due dates; if you fall behind, it becomes exponentially more difficult to catch up.” – Matthew Gillespie

“I would have to say to all rising juniors to not give up hope throughout the year. No matter the hardships, this is a time of your life that you will never forget. Yes, classes are hard, yes, friendships are made and broken, and yes, stress is there, but know that through all of that, you will come into yourself and who you are. Stay organized, keep yourself at a pace that works best for you, and please don’t be too hard on yourself. Make the most of what you have, and live life to the fullest. After all, you only have one, so live it up.” – Emmalee Norris

“If I could redo junior year, I think I would remember the big picture. Junior year is gonna be the most academically challenging year you will have until college. All of those courses and assignments and projects and extracurriculars and clubs are important, but your mental health is more important. Prioritize you as a person, not you as a student.” – Brendan Meckler

Now, I don’t know about you, but those powerful words of wisdom really moved me. Collecting these quotes really made me realize that no matter what we faced this year, we really did “rock it out.” Junior year can seem like a lot, but don’t lose sight of what’s important, and don’t forget your biggest supporters. Whether that’s your friends, your parents, or your teachers, there will always be a hand that’s willing to help. Stay ahead, stay organized, and stay sane, and a huge thank you to everyone that participated.


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