How Juniors Are Coping With Senior High

How Juniors Are Coping With Senior High

Reo Lee

The jump from junior high to senior high is special, marking the beginning of a new adventure for juniors. There are more opportunities to meet a variety of new faces, the campus becomes noticeably larger, and a wide set of responsibilities are entrusted. What was supposed to be a fresh start for many upcoming juniors became an experience that was anxiety inducing, as the pandemic shifted the basis of everyday life.

“I was most excited to get into a more college-like environment, with more difficult classes and other clubs,” Ian Yang said. “But COVID-19 has made my experience a lot more difficult.”

Yang was among the group of students who dreamed of the maturity that came with starting college level classes, a goal that was not completely achieved this year.

“Most of the time I am not even at school,” Yang said. “The online portion of school [is] like 90 percent of learning, and I am usually bad at keeping up [since] it is difficult to adjust to.”

Not only do online classes take away the benefits of face-to-face interactions, but it is also geared towards self-learning, which makes it difficult for a handful of students who learn better through lectures.

“I think the biggest challenge is definitely my classes,” Celeste Colon said.

Aside from the academic disadvantages, there were other aspects of the hybrid schedule that have impacted the social opportunities of juniors.

“I was excited to become a junior because of the liberty of going out for lunch,” Colon said. “Not all of my friends [are] here to experience it with me [since] some are in the M-Z cohort and some are at home.”

There is no precedent to the type of situations students are faced with in the midst of the pandemic, making it harder for juniors to adjust than seniors, who already have a year’s worth of experience in Senior High.

“I wish that schools would be able to provide more,” Yang said. “[Regarding] information or reminders in order to keep everyone up to date more frequently.”

Although there are many challenges that come with online learning that make the majority of students a bit apprehensive, there are some students that have benefited greatly from the environment switching to a more remote one.

“I have great teachers who have already started challenging me to really put in effort and to do better on my assignments, especially in my AP classes which are proving to require an entire new level of perseverance,” Betty Waithanji said. “But they are actively improving my study habits and mentality about school.”

Waithanji is thriving in her classes, seeing the advantages of this changed school year rather than sticking to the negative aspects,

“In terms of my classes, I am rather pleased,” Waithanji said. “I have never really been particularly enthusiastic about core classes, but this year I find myself truly interested in the content and already forming great relationships with my teachers.”

Whether this school year has been a great experience or not, most juniors wish for the situation with the pandemic to become better in order to transition back to face-to-face school fully.

“I hope a cure for the disease comes soon so that the world can go back to normal,” Colon said. “I want to ensure the safety of others before we open up the school more.”