Looking Back and Forth: Seniors & Risers Reflect on Expectations

Justice Abbott, Staff Writer

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As soon as you enter the 9th grade, you’re immediately bombarded with questions about your plans after high school. Most of the time young people don’t have any idea how to answer these questions, as they are ill prepared to deal with the future.

The reality is these questions come up so early and continue for all four years of high school because students actually do need to start considering their options, figuring out their plans, determining what they want to do in the future.

On the topic of the excessive pressure young people feel as they journey from 9th to 12th grade, senior Kiddist Cheru says, “Junior year caused the most pressure because I felt like I had so many deadlines and things to do for college.”

Fellow senior Vilma Ortiz says, “I felt pressure since the beginning of ninth grade, but junior year was the hardest because of taking SATs.”
Some seniors didn’t feel the same pressure throughout high school. Hassan Coulibaly says, “It hasn’t really changed for me because I always wanted to go to college, so there wasn’t really any one year that had more pressure for me than others.”

When discussing the topic of high school pressure, we have to consider where it begins: freshman year. As for that pressure, current freshman Val Graham says, “Coming into high school I did feel a lot of pressure. It seems like everything is very important for college and there’s not a lot of room for error.” Graham also mentions that she is going to start preparing for junior year by “starting SAT prep” classes.

Another freshman, Chase Wright, shares that he was nervous about the pressure of high school initially. “At first, hearing about going to high school in middle school I was nervous,” says Wright, “But when I got here, I wasn’t.”

Hearing all the rumors about junior year and how important it is, today’s sophomores – who will soon be juniors – are now faced with the pressures of what many call the hardest year of high school. Sophomore Edmund Kargbo says, “I am nervous about junior year because that is when colleges really look at test scores like the SAT and ACT.”

Another sophomore, Nikquel Jamony Doyle, adds, “I feel a lot of pressure heading into junior year because literally every junior and senior says it will be the most difficult year to pass.”

Ultimately, students view junior year as the “scariest” and “hardest” year of their high school career, but the rising seniors who have now survived it plan on staying strong and getting through their senior year because that’s what one must do. For seniors, graduation means not having to worry about high school pressures anymore, but for many this means trading up for more adult pressures starting with college.

No matter the age, though, for the most part, all students feel pressure about their plans after high school. What one can hope is that they can handle and overcome this pressure, became successful, and not let it scare them into being passive individuals who don’t challenge themselves or take risks.

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Looking Back and Forth: Seniors & Risers Reflect on Expectations