Commentary: It’s Time for “Junior Privilege”

Christopher Matias ('23), Orbit Contributor

Being a junior in high school was a memorable experience for me. Not because I had a great academic year, not because I really enjoyed my classes, and not because I had lots of fun. I dreaded it.

Junior year was different from any previous year. It was host to all my anxieties and stress. I had never felt such pressure during both my freshman and sophomore year. For the first time my work load felt so vast I would have trouble completing it. I felt many responsibilities with college as well. I became aware that soon I would be done with my high school career–I needed to visit colleges and figure out where I could see myself going. 

Now that I’m a senior I have the luxuries of what we at RMHS call “senior privilege.” Senior privilege amounts to the freedom to leave school during flex, lunch, and studies. Seniors are also allowed to stay at the main street tables during flex and studies.

Senior privilege has been great for me this year, but do you know what I have come to realize? Had I been able to access these privileges during my junior year, I would have had a lot less anxiety. Senior privilege should be changed so that all upperclassmen have the same privilege. Upperclassmen privilege.

Juniors are ready for, and deserving of, the privileges seniors have been benefiting from for years.


Many students say that junior year was difficult and stressful, some would say more so than senior year. During junior year many students took the SATS. This is also the year when students begin really thinking about college. Juniors have numerous academic responsibilities but no privileges. So why do only seniors get privilege? The belief that seniors “earned it” is a flimsy argument. Both junior and senior year have their various challenges. Giving juniors these privileges could improve their academic performance and mental health. Having a fresh breath of air while getting out of the school for a period or heading to main street for a quiet solitary study could be all the difference for many juniors. 

Think of it like this, let’s say there’s a student who can be very disruptive or has trouble focusing in class. They don’t use their study to get any work done as it is. If they were allowed to leave school during their study period they could let their energy out and return to school more focused and less disruptive. 

There’s an argument to be made that juniors are simply not ready to handle the responsibilities of having privileges. This is giving them far less credit than they deserve. With so many academic burdens during their third year, juniors are far more responsible than one would initially think. Junior year is when students really become independent and learn to have their own initiative. 

Juniors are ready for, and deserving of, the privileges seniors have been benefiting from for years. It’s time we change senior privilege to “upperclassmen privilege” by giving this gift to our eleventh graders.