This summer would be the most stressful summer for many high school students who are going to be juniors. With SAT or ACT prep, a greater commitment to extracurricular activities, and a load of AP summer homework on top of summer classes, it is definitely one of the busiest summers in order to successfully transition into the most important year of high school.
As many may know, junior year is the most crucial year for college applications, because it is the last full year of high school that colleges see. It is most closely approximate to a college course load; thus, colleges can get a sense of how students would handle that level of work. The added pressure to do well for their dream colleges is what most likely makes junior year the hardest year for many students. So how are some of these students getting through this stressful summer preparing for junior year?
When asked how she would rate her level of stressfulness of this summer so far, Julianne Nguyen, a student who will become a student at Portola High School replied, “On a scale of 1-10, it would be a BMS (broke my scale).” As a justification of her response, she listed out a part of her summer schedule:: 4-hour SAT boot camp for 4 days a week on top of her Psychology class at a nearby college on those same days as the SAT prep, upcoming piano competition, and volunteer hours. That is only a glimpse of the numerous summer activities she participates in.
Among many different factors affecting the stress levels of students, studying for the SAT and ACT is not only the most common but also what takes up the most time for these students. On top of this, there are many students already fretting over the AP classes that they chose to take in their junior year, especially with AP homework that some high schools require students to do for preparation. “Just thinking about the hard classes I signed up for adds even more stress on everyone. Also, I haven’t even had the chance to hang out with my friends this entire summer because I literally have no time to do so,” Julianne Nguyen said.
With all these different kinds of activities taking up the majority of students’ summer, preparing for junior year is definitely a difficult process. Although it may be challenging, students should not overstress and should learn to manage their stress levels. This summer may pass by slowly and painfully for some while too fast for others, all depending on how students decide to spend their summer break. However, students should remind themselves that their hard work and effort will all be worth it in the end.
Sungmin Stella Kim, Grade 11
Northwood High School