For Juniors, First Normal Year of HS A Stressful One


Timmy Duggan ('23), Orbit Contributor

It has been a difficult year of transition for the class of 2023.

COVID-19 affected every grade population of students; however, following the end of Semester 1, March SATS, and consistent college prep, the juniors are really feeling the lost time from 9th and 10th grade.

Junior year has its preconceived notions of involving the most work a student will do in their high school career and that couldn’t be more of the truth. Students are facing immense pressure of maintaining their GPAs, keeping up with their schoolwork, involving themselves in extracurriculars and volunteer work, all in hopes the college of their dreams will notice them. 

The junior class president, Nora Flaherty (‘23) has her schedule filled with class office meetings, participating in 3 sports, and managing the upcoming junior prom. Flaherty said: “This school year, our grades have come to matter more than they ever have. With everything I’m involved in, along with schoolwork, it’s been really difficult to manage.”

Other students, along with Flaherty, are experiencing hardships in staying motivated during this important year coming back from a much easier, remote year of learning in 2020-2021. 

Elise Verrier (‘23), Cradles to Crayons Officer and 3 sport athlete at RMHS, articulated her struggles coming back into this year and how her schedule affects her learning. Verrier said, “I’ve lost a lot of my study skills and have had to regain my work ethic coming back into this year. Maintaining my grades while actively participating in a sport each season has been tough. I wish the teachers would realize the stress that we’re under.”

Flaherty agreed with Verrier.  “I haven’t really noticed any support from my teachers in this weird transition back into normal school, but I know everyone is doing the best they can.”

Mrs. Williams, a member of the English Department, primarily teaching juniors, spoke on this topic and some of the ways she tries to support students in a stressful year. Williams stated, “I prioritize relationships with my students first over the subject that I’m teaching. I really try to check in with kids and see how everybody’s doing day by day. I can see the stress my juniors are experiencing and have been more flexible this year with deadlines, late work, and homework.”

Flaherty and Verrier gave the junior class some words of advice during this difficult stretch of the year and expressed ways to stay motivated.

“With right now being as hard as it is, do the things and activities that interest you,” Flaherty advised. Verrier, agreeing, said: “Just remember that school is not everything.”

This year, in all its complexities, has been overwhelming for all of us, but hang in there juniors! We’re in the home stretch.