The Voice of Wakefield High School

The Howler

The Voice of Wakefield High School

The Howler

The Voice of Wakefield High School

The Howler

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Wakefield talks junioritis

Katie Spampinato
A Wakefield student looks over his AP US History notes to prepare for his last test before break. Juniors rush to turn in missing assignments before the end of the semester.

It is common knowledge among high school students that junior year is one of the hardest years in an individual’s educational career. There is a lot on the line for juniors, such as partaking in as many extracurriculars as possible, multiple AP classes and expecting high grades in all classes to impress potential colleges and to continue that motivation for two more years. High school juniors reflect on the challenges they have faced during their junior year so far, noting tips and tricks they have learned to combat stress. 

For any high school student, junior year can be a gruesome struggle when it comes down to assignments. While the affliction of senioritis, or, the lack of motivation and spirit to continue school in an individual’s senior year of high school, remains apparent throughout any high school, the struggles of junior year deserve its own name: junioritis. One junior who has experienced her fair share of junioritis after witnessing her senior peers’ change in motivation is Mackenzie Book. 

“Given that half of my classes I’m in [is] with a lot of seniors, I get a lot of the energy that [seniors] have,” Book said. “You get to see them making those changes and getting to apply to college and [you] think, ‘I’m kind of done too.’ ”

Keeping that motivation is very hard.

— Page

Stress levels are high for juniors with exams only a month away. With the pressure of rigorous coursework, extracurricular activities and the expectations to maintain high grades, anxiety to succeed starts to spur. Lynley Page is another junior who has faced the biggest challenge of all: maintaining motivation for schoolwork. 

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“My [motivation for school] increased because I realized how important [my] classes are this year,” Page said. “At the same time, keeping that motivation is very hard.”

Hayes Hemphill is another junior who has been struck with the reality of junior year. Namely with the added pressures of standardized tests all juniors are required to take.

“[My] junior year is a bit hectic,” Hemphill said. “You’ve got to do the SAT and it’s where it starts to count for colleges.”

Teachers have seen the struggles students have faced during this stressful time first-hand. Frank Merksamer is an AP English Language teacher at Wakefield High School. With his classes primarily consisting of juniors, he has had to work with students personally to come up with good work habits to maintain the rigorous workload of an AP class. 

“I want people to see that they have some control in steps [they] can take,” Merksamer said. “[I] talk a lot about working smarter, not harder.” 

One useful method to combat schoolwork is going to the Northeast Regional Library just seven minutes away from Wakefield High School. While some look for quiet places, other students use online resources to plan out their assignments. 

“My Google Calendar is insane,” said Book. “I love planning [assignments] out, it makes me feel better and [if] I don’t get to do it too soon, I can just scoot it down.”

The struggles of the junior year have remained difficult for many students. However, with the right mindset and strategies, it is possible to overcome these challenges and succeed throughout their junior year. 

“Don’t overwhelm yourself and don’t get discouraged,” Hemphill said. “If you fail or make a mistake, you can always bounce back.” 

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