The 2020-2021 school year was not like the others. Everyone had a different experience, especially upperclassmen. Junior year was supposed to be full of remarkable memories, but sadly that didn’t happen. After this challenging year, many juniors would like to reflect.
“My junior year was not at all what I expected,” said 11th grader Omar Tellez. “To be honest, I thought we would be back by the 3rd nine weeks, but I’ve been online practically the whole year. I wouldn’t say this was the hardest year academically, but I have had more trouble learning since I am at home.”
Another junior, Tatiana Jimenez, said, “My junior year experience was super hectic for me because it pushed me out of my comfort zone, and I learned a lot in the span of a year. It really opened me up into reality and although it made me grow and mature a lot as a person, it also showed me the parts where I needed to reflect and make a better ME. Junior year is that time where you reflect as a person and self-evaluate if the person you’re becoming is the person you actually want to be. I loved junior year, but it wasn’t the most pleasant time of my life.”
Emilsen Bonilla said, “My junior year was the year I got to learn to adjust to change. Everything changed this year, but because of those changes I got to experience school on a different level. I became more involved in school and my grades improved.”
Junior year is the year when you have to get the best grades. Colleges look at these grades. This overwhelmed some students including me. The first quarter was pretty easy, and I ended with honor roll. The 2nd and 3rd were a bit harder for me, but right now I’m working on getting Honor Roll again.
For others it was different. Melanie Rodriguez said, “Academically, my junior year has been a lot better than my freshman and sophomore year. I was able to get straight As in the first quarter and Honor Roll in the second and third quarter. During my previous years, I would get C’s.”
Kevin Cabrera, a junior, agreed. He said, “It was the easiest year academically because I had all the time in the world to turn in my assignments.”
SAT and ACT were also something to worry about. In my English class with Ms. Zamora, we did practice tests to help us prepare. Mr. Roberts, who is studying to become a teacher, would also help the students. We would go over many questions and he would give us tricks to decipher the correct answer. I didn’t take the SAT this year, but Kristine Upegui did. “The process was very long and felt never-ending. I was well prepared, so I think I did good,” she said.
Emilsen Bonilla, a junior, stated, “I went to several tutoring sessions for the SAT. These sessions helped improve my overall score. I also went to study sessions with my friends at places like “Books and Books”.
The Annual Ring Ceremony is something that most juniors look forward to. This year it was a bit different. There were no guests allowed. Students walked through the auditorium, one by one. They received their ring, got a picture taken, and then proceeded to wait at the front of the school.
When everyone was there, principal Mr. Valdes declared everyone official upperclassmen. It wasn’t what I expected, but at least we got something. Junior Kristine Upegui added, “The ring ceremony was compromised, but it was still a very good experience, and I love the way my ring came out.”
Tatiana Jimenez added, “I thought the ring ceremony was actually really cute and they went all out for us. They made it work especially with everything that’s going on, so it was really nice to feel normal again even if it was just for a while.”
This school year there was no college trip for the juniors. It was an event many students hoped for, but it wasn’t able to happen. Omar Tellez said, “I am pretty disappointed that we didn’t have a college trip because I was looking forward to branching out and finding more places I’d like to go to, but I understand that due to corona we couldn’t do it.”
Melanie Rodriguez said, “I felt pretty disappointed that we juniors weren’t able to have a college trip this year to explore the colleges that we could potentially end up attending. I still hope that we could have a trip in the beginning of senior year.”