By Sydney McDermott
Before entering my junior year of high school, I was told that this year would be incredibly difficult and full of stress, but that it would teach me many new things, and I would learn new life lessons. Oh boy, were they right. This year has had so many ups and downs it was crazy to see and partake in.
First of all, this year was full of stress from AP classes, the ACT, and more extracurricular activities. I am enrolled in two AP classes, AP US History and AP Lang, and both of them have caused extreme levels of stress. The normal amount of homework seemed to be doubled for those classes, with more exams and quizzes than in my normal classes. While these weren’t my first AP classes, it was the first time where I felt like I could drown in the amount of work I had to do and where my grades often suffered from the work.
Also, I was involved more in the school with being a part of the newspaper staff, DECA, and NHS. I was excited to do more for our school and get involved in the different activities that would come with the different extracurricular. For newspaper, I had always enjoyed writing and I was very happy to do something where my fellow classmates could read my writing. I also got to really hone my writing skills and learn new things to help better my writing.
I also became a member of DECA this year, and being a part of such a great group has taught me many new things. I learned how to open up and become more social. I talked to more people, gained friendships, and even received guidance from the Senior Officers, which made me try something I never thought I would do–apply for a position as a Senior Officer.
I also inducted into the National Honors Society, an organization that prides itself on service, leadership, scholarship, and character. I met some really amazing people who are a part of NHS and even took part in amazing activities such as . I helped give back to my community through community service. NHS made me open up, try new things and meet different people.
Sadly, the spread of the coronavirus and the attempts at flattening the curve has stopped certain things that I had looked forward to. Prom was canceled, sports and other activities were canceled, and many other amazing opportunities were canceled. It was hard to see these opportunities taken away from us, even though it was for a perfectly good reason. Knowing that I won’t get to spend the night of prom dancing away with my friends or cheering on our sports teams as they go for the gold, has really dampened the mood.
Knowing what has happened with this situation, I will use this feeling of uselessness and take it into next year. I will go into next year with my head held high, and I will make the most out of my senior year. I’ll go to every sports game and activity I can,, and I will go to prom with the anticipation almost killing me.
Lastly, I spent this year trying to follow through with my New Year’s Resolution: try more things. I began to try different hobbies such as baking, calligraphy, journaling, cooking, practicing my French, and even scrapbooking. I also tried new foods that I never had the opportunity to try before such as certain Chinese, Asian, and Mexican foods. The results were life-changing, and I even have a new favorite food, ginger garlic chicken and rice. I also stepped out of my comfort zone with fashion and have tried different styles and trends, and it was such an awesome experience that I hope everyone gets the chance to try new styles.
So while my junior year was stressful, I learned to open up and try things that I normally never would have. I wish luck to all the incoming juniors as this year will test you, but if you try and keep things on track, you’ll have one of your best years. And I wish for you all to try something new, as you’ll never know what you like if you haven’t tried it.