A year in review: my junior year of high school

My third year of high school was definitely something I would never have expected. Both my freshman and sophomore years seemed as if I was genuinely missing something. I wasn’t very excited about anything and I rarely joined any clubs. The majority of this was due to my disastrous mental health, but over the course of this year, I can absolutely say that it has been one of my best school years so far. 


The year prior, my English teacher urged me to apply for Newspaper Journalism. I was extremely hesitant and had many doubts when it came to my writing abilities. I knew that I was at least decent, but writing articles for a school newspaper never once crossed my mind. However, I am so grateful for Mrs. Porada and getting me to step out of my comfort zone and try something new. I don’t think my junior year would have been as impactful and memorable without the class. It has been an amazing learning experience in both friendship, writing, working as a team and so much more. I have loved every second of being in that classroom with the team, and I am so excited to return next year. Things were finally looking up for me in that sense.


Over the summer, I got my first job ever at Auntie Anne’s. It has definitely been a learning experience that I will cherish for years to come, but I also continued to work throughout the school year. I went to school five days a week and worked every Saturday and Sunday. This was difficult as time went on considering the workload was steadily getting heavier. I could no longer hang out with friends on the weekends, so Friday became our new Saturday and my weekends were used for working and SAT preparation. Although I was working, my school performance increased. While it wasn’t what I wanted, it was better than the previous years because, for the most part, I enjoyed every class I took. I made sure to specifically choose the classes I knew I would like, minus physics. I believe that I learned a valuable lesson called time management throughout my time as a junior. Studying for the SAT, AP tests, doing loads of homework, and all while having a part-time job, really made me take a step back and understand the value of time. 


Mental health-wise, the year has been very productive in achieving the mental state I’ve wanted for a while now. I for sure had my downsides, but for the most part, I think my mental health has been in the best state it’s ever been in. My journey with mental health has not always been a positive one, but I believe that I have truly been the happiest I have ever been in the past three years. Of course, this is thanks to my friends and family who have stuck by my side since the very beginning. They are the sole reason that I have been so much happier in the upcoming years. Making new friends and building stronger relationships with  my friends was easily one of my bests in that regard. 


Things were going pretty good I would say until we were all thrown into the midst of a pandemic. Being forced to stay inside in hopes that it would flatten the curve, and social distancing has become a social norm. The world changed in a matter of a week, and it has been scary. Thankfully, no one in my family has been diagnosed with the virus, but social distancing and the loss of our jobs have been very difficult. Finishing school online and not being able to take the SAT for the first time until next fall is a bit worrying academic wise. I don’t get to say goodbye to so many of the seniors I had become friends with over this year and the pandemic hasn’t been fair to them either. I greatly miss my friends and the people that have made my junior year very special. However, I think this has been a great time to spend time getting to know myself and bettering myself.