Ahlora is the Managing Editor of Ethic News.
By AHLORA SMITH
Eleventh grade, junior year, the bane of most students’ existence.
Going into high school, I would imagine that most kids got the “join lots of clubs and get involved!” talk. Although following this advice made my freshman and sophomore year actually quite enjoyable, the havoc has come to a big, fat climax in the fourth quarter of my junior year. Before any conclusions get jumped to, I will just include my role as a student on the Citrus Valley campus; I have been involved in Ethic News, Thespian Society and Comedy Sportz since my freshman year, and I am manager for both Ethic and Comedy Sportz. This year, I joined Mock Trial, Junior Classical League and Link crew, two in which I hold a leadership position. Oh, and I have a 4.2 GPA and have been in honors and AP classes all three years of high school. I am also playing a supporting character in Romeo and Juliet, which we rehearse for every day after school. When I take a step back and look at my overall situation, it’s hit me that I just need a gosh darn break.
Now, don’t get me wrong! I get the biggest rush from having the occasional busy day, and high school has been a fantastic experience, but my specific class and activity load this year has me just plain tired. What, or who more precisely, prompted me to write this column in the first place was Mrs. Karen Alexander, my AP Language teacher. She recently announced that our mock exam for the class would take place on either April 23 or 24. Upon a glance at my calendar, I found that those dates land in tech week for Romeo and Juliet, a week during which we are not permitted to even think about missing any rehearsals. I then just casually scrolled through my calendar and promptly had a mental breakdown. Between the show, practice, homework, banquets, events and life-defining tests and exams, the first day that I can finally rest not thinking about the next stress-inducing task is June 6, the last day of school.
I live by the motto “do what you love and what you are passionate about” because what is life without doing what you love? All the activities that I am involved in do strike significant points in my interests, so it’s not like I am trying to drown myself in “meaningless” clubs simply to pad my resume. The passion and drive that it takes to be involved in these organizations would simply be a time and energy waster if this was my intention. It all boils down to one fact: I, like all students, have a very eclectic pool of interests that I want to further explore. My activities have helped shape me into the person that I am as I sit and write this column, tearing up at my plans for the rest of the year, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I’m not exactly sure what it is about Junior year specifically that has students like me reeling, but there are small supplements throughout the year that have lead up to the point at which we are. We start the year which the most advanced classes that the driven students have ever taken; then, we wade through the teenage hormones, drama and tears to get to SAT, AP and SBAC season. In the midst of all this, having a social life along with the activities have had me going through the most prolific highs and lows of my life. I’ve even been touring college campuses recently! Crazy, right? This collection of thoughts and events is honestly what I do believe makes junior year absolutely nuts, especially for those that dedicate their time to a myriad of interests.
This whole jumble of ideas brings me to my point: being a well-rounded and (not self proclaimed) “accomplished” student demands so much from meer sixteen-year-olds nationwide, and I believe that I speak on behalf of us all when I say that we just want to sleep until graduation! Yes, I acknowledge that I put all this upon myself, and, yes, I know that I am so insanely lucky to even have these opportunities, but this is still me speaking my truth as a beautifully stressed junior; take that as you will. All I, and everyone else in a situation similar to mine, can do is face this end of the year catastrophe head on and power through to senior year and the rest of life.