Goodbye Junior Year

A photo of butterflies that represent the fleeting nature of our year.

Zach Ninomiya

A photo of butterflies that represent the fleeting nature of our year.

Emily Ito , Section Editor

As we enter the last few weeks of school, I am overcome with a variety of mixed emotions. Like most students, I am excited for vacations, sleeping until noon, and endless trips to the beach. Yet by the same token, I am sad to be saying goodbye to this year. My junior year is coming to an end and I am closing yet another chapter of my life.

Looking back, I have realized how quickly this year flew by. I remember entering the gates of campus, the blazing sun beating on my back. I can recall the dread I felt about having to return to school, the struggle it was waking up those first few weeks. The days dragged on as I watched the clock intently, counting the seconds until the bell would ring. I couldn’t wait until Thanksgiving break.

During late September, I came down with one of the worst flus I have ever experienced. I spent the next three weeks in bed, only rising to catch up on my missed assignments. My return to school was quite the transition as I was forced to accept that life continued while I was away. I had missed moments that my friends were all able to experience together. I wasn’t there to expand my knowledge in the same way my classmates did. I felt left behind and left out. I had never disliked school more than during the first week of my return.

School eventually returned to normal and I began readjusting to the structure of my schedule. I was completing my assignments on time and I was able to adapt to the hours of the school day. Suddenly it was Thanksgiving break and I was finally able to relax, giving my brain a chance to recharge.

Returning from Thanksgiving break was merely a countdown until Winter recess. The few weeks dragged on as I waited in anticipation of Christmas.

It was upon the end of Winter recess that extreme stress began to set in. It was time for finals and I was stuck in my bedroom, filling out dozens of flashcards as I tried to cram months of material into my brain. I worked relentlessly to maintain my A in both APES and Spanish.

With the end of first semester finals, I realized that I was half way done. Although, those next few months remained long and daunting. Why couldn’t Spring break come sooner?

Yet suddenly, the next season made an appearance and I was back in the pool for my third high school swim season. I was conflicted about my participation on the team as I had realized that my love for the sport has disappeared. I wanted to stay as it was going to be my third year on varsity and I loved my teammates. But eventually, my anxiety about meets and competing took priority and I dropped the sport. While it was a decision that I found difficult and worried about at the time, I look back and feel no regret.

Despite my initial feelings of irritation and defeat at the length of second semester, I began to accept school as a part of my daily routine. The stress over my sport was removed and I was only accountable to focus on my academics.

In the blink of an eye, Spring break had finally rolled around and I was on a plane to Cabo San Lucas.

The last month or so has gone by in a flash. It was a whirlwind of homework, AP exams, essays, and more. I am in disbelief that we have already entered the end of May and that school is wrapping up. Jayden Hawley (11) sums it up perfectly when she describes that “it feels like just yesterday that I was picking up my class schedule.”

As I begin to comprehend how close we are to summer vacation, I reflect on the year I’ve had. I have to say that it was one of the most difficult but also the most important years for me. It was a journey of personal growth that I felt has shaped me into someone more equipped for senior year and beyond. I am putting the finishing touches on my junior year and I am prepared to begin writing the newest chapter in my book of life.