Simply a Junior

They say it's the hardest year in high school. I think I should be scared.

I’ve been in school for three days and I already love it. I had mixed emotions Tuesday night as I anticipated my first day of junior year at and saw my summer slipping away. To be frankly honest, for the first time in my life I actually didn’t want to go back to school.

Junior year is supposed to be the hardest. Since freshman year, I have heard the laments of juniors as they declare that they will never make it through. They have too much homework, too many projects, and too many tests. Life is just too difficult they say.

And now here I am. A junior.

So as I was lying in bed Tuesday night, I was rightfully scared. My freedom was over. My life was ending. Nothing would ever be the same again. School hadn’t even started yet and I was already being overly dramatic.

Oh so sad.

Flash forward eight hours and here I am walking up the newly renovated stairs, so shiny and new. The school is pretty quiet at 7:15 a.m. The curse of a zero period I convinced myself.

Stay strong Laurel, remember, you don’t want to be a junior.

I walked into my first class with my twenty-two typed pages of summer history homework. The bell rang and everything began.

As I listened to Ms. B talk in my first ever IB class, I began to remember that I actually like school. I don’t have to be afraid. I am an upperclassman now and it is my turn to guide the aimlessly walking freshmen through the halls. 

True, so far my homework has only consisted of “sign this syllabus” and “fill out this student survey,” but I know that my teachers will be there for me and I won’t actually die.

I know that there will be moments of pain. I will cry over passages and wonder why I have to analyze books and pictures and who knows what else. I will break down and begin to wonder why I ever came to Sequoia and then run around screaming like a chicken with its head cut off, but I will survive.

The juniors last year are still here. They are prancing around and strutting their senior pride through the halls. I can do this. That is what I must keep telling myself. I can do this. I am prepared. I shall not cry.

So here I am sitting with my binders surrounding me, waiting for them to fill up with notes, assignments, and homework. Here I am, ready to make this the best year of my life.

Next year I will be doing college applications. Next year I will have to think about moving away. Next year I will be itching for that envelope in the mail that will tell me my future. 

But I don’t want to think about that yet. I’m not ready.

Instead, I’m going to enjoy what I have right now.  Right now is what matters to me most. I’m going to cherish the fact that my brother now goes to school with me. I am going to maximize every day I have. I am going to help others discover their dreams like the juniors and seniors before helped me to discover mine. I am going to cheer and laugh and cry over things amazing and silly and stupid all to my hearts content because I’m not ready to grow up yet. I’m not ready to go to college.

I’m only ready to be a junior in high school. So that’s what I’ll be, simply me.

Can't wait until next Monday? Follow Laurel on Twitter and get updates from her all week long @LivingAsLaurel


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spanky August 27, 2012 at 01:08 PM
Glad you're back Laurel! I missed reading your column all summer.
Stacie Chan August 28, 2012 at 04:23 AM
@spanky: totally agree! I love reading your insights about high school, Laurel. Glad to have you back.


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