There’s no question that senior students have received the short end of the stick, but their struggle isn’t quite as difficult as the class of 2022’s struggles. Amidst the chaos of starting AP classes, college preparation and newfound independence, juniors have it just as bad as seniors do- if not worse.

First and foremost, let’s talk about the SAT and ACT. Although students are eligible to take these tests as early as freshman year, the vast majority take them their junior year. Preparation for these exams are extensive, which sometimes includes taking the PSAT, which can only be taken as a junior for the National Merit Scholarships. 

Nonetheless the help provided by counselors on campus is undeniably beneficial and in some cases vital for success, which is now not an option for juniors.

Yes, students can still technically  contact their counselors via email, but the resources and information provided in a school environment as well as in a one to one, physical conversation is far more valuable and extensive than in an email through Canvas. 

Additionally, college preparation in general is in complete shambles for high school juniors. Colleges focus on the outcome of 11th grade far more extensively than any other levels, considering it’s the last full year of grades that colleges can see. 

“Online school doesn’t offer the same opportunity for success. We’ve spent our entire lives in a classroom setting, so of course we’ll be better at that then online,” said junior Delaney Aguilar.

Junior year is also the time when most students start taking AP classes, which are heavy, complex courses, now in the hands of lessons through a computer screen. Online school doesn’t necessarily mean students can’t achieve success, but the process is still experimental, and experimental for the year colleges look at most isn’t a good mix.

Additionally, juniors are missing the opportunity to get involved. By senior year, the majority of students can agree that they have plenty of hours in volunteering, most done during their junior year. For those juniors who have yet to partake in volunteering or need additional hours, they don’t have many options, if any at all, as most programs, events, and activities aren’t available right now. 

On a lighter but still unfortunate note, juniors will miss out on the greater aspects of independence 11th grade provides. As a junior, students are finally considered upperclassmen, and are definitely granted greater respect from their peers. Driving, for most juniors, is part of this independence and the excitement of going to school by oneself shouldn’t be overlooked.

Swinging around one’s keys while walking through campus, for the effect of course, is something most juniors have been looking forward to. While yes technically juniors could still drive to school, lanyard and all, their senior year, but that diminishes the excitement compared to when it’s more or less new junior year. Driving to school seems like a small disadvantage, but when we graduate it’s the little things we’ll remember and miss most of all.

Despite all of the drawbacks juniors and other students alike have to face, health is more important, so while we mourn what could’ve been, it’s important to be grateful for the now, and the brighter future ahead.

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