Junior Year: The Stressful Year?

Luke Pastore, Staff Writer

Going into high school, every freshman hears the same thing from older siblings, students, and teachers: “ Enjoy it now; once junior year comes you’ll be struggling more than you ever have before.” Some believe this to be true and some do not. Some say getting acclimated with the atmosphere freshman year makes that the hardest year for a student. Others say sophomore year, when more is expected of you after one year’s experience, is the most difficult. Most would say junior year, where the workload and expectations are at an all-time high for most students. Some even say senior year, because until the second semester arrives, most students are preoccupied with their SATs and where they will decide to attend college. Once that period of time in the second semester is reached, however, lot of seniors choose to coast until the end of the year and enjoy what’s left of their high school career.

For those who say freshman year is the hardest year, their main argument is usually the adjustment to the high school atmosphere. With high school comes more expectations, more work, more social opportunities, and more competitive activities including sports and clubs. Freshmen must balance all of these things in order to successfully make it through the year. While this may be challenging for some, lots of people learn tips and tricks over the months that enable them to handle all of this pressure with ease. A great way to learn how to manage time freshman year is to talk to the upperclassmen or teachers. These students and teachers have been through it all and will have the best insight into how to go about handling the stresses freshman year.

An argument heard a lot is that sophomores have the hardest time in high school. Once you have completed one year of high school, teachers expect you to have all of the social things figured out and expect you to start focusing hard on the work at hand. Sophomore year teachers’ jobs are to prepare the students for what they will see their junior and senior year including big projects and research papers. On top of this, most students will begin to drive their sophomore year, taking drivers education to prepare for their permit test at the end of their class. Some argue that this extra class just adds one more thing to worry about on top of all the other preparation.

The most argued case is made for junior year students. Junior year is the rumored “big year” for many reasons. First, teachers’ expectations seem to be at an all time high. Underclassmen become upperclassman and that seems to change everything. Then there is the stress of college. As a junior, you are advised to start thinking about and acting on college related activities. Junior year is the year that everyone says colleges “look at the most” when determining acceptance so your scores must be top notch. College visits and SAT practice consume the weekends and for the students who take AP classes, free time is rare. The jump in workload from sophomore to junior year is widely accepted as the biggest jump by hours of homework and class work that one will see from one grade to the next. By the end of the year, if you make it through alive, you will never wish to go back to junior year.

Finally, some even make the claim that senior year is the hardest year. When asked, most seniors who believe this will say just the first semester along makes it the hardest year. Most seniors by then are finished visiting colleges and taking SAT tests,  but for the students that are not, the first semester of senior year is very stressful. College applications, which are long and tedious, take up many seniors’ time and the anticipation of an acceptance or denial into college is haunting.

So which year of high school is the most stressful year? It is an opinionated question that you get many answers from. What do you think?


Which year of high school is the most stressful?

  • Junior year (52%, 112 Votes)
  • Freshman year (24%, 52 Votes)
  • Senior year (13%, 28 Votes)
  • Sophomore year (11%, 24 Votes)

Total Voters: 216

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