Flip or Flop: Junior year

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After peer pressuring my friend junior John Eastep to attend the homecoming game, we met up with other juniors to take photos, share jokes and best of all, eat Dippin Dots from the Pre-Engineering society. One recommendation for fun games like these is to bring money for snacks. (Photo submitted by Bella Ramirez)

I know what you’re thinking: “she’s going to say flop.” Or maybe you’re thinking, “Wow, finally another flip or flop article, I missed these.” To the latter, I say, don’t get too attached; to the former, I say surprise. Don’t get me wrong, junior year offered everything my beloved upperclassmen warned me about and more. I cried, failed and questioned myself more than I had in perhaps all of elementary and middle school years combined. Yet, past that cloud of doubt, I learned, loved and lived with more strength than ever before. In short, I grew. You can too with a change in perspective.

To the underclassmen scared of what junior year means, here is some advice.

Don’t take it too seriously. You’re going to mess up but that’s the name of the game of life. Instead of lamenting your failures, learn from them and be thankful to get whatever lesson it serves.

Get sleep. If you don’t sleep, then you don’t feel good, and if you don’t feel good, you get sick, and if you get sick, you miss school, and if you miss school, you miss lessons, and if you miss lessons, you fail. Learn from my mistakes, ones I’m still trying to learn from; take care of yourself. If you need to miss a merit class because you pulled an all-nighter then go home and get rest. You’re more likely to work quicker and retain more on a night of sleep than powering through and trying to get everything done halfway.

Ask questions and make study groups. Don’t have friends? This is the year to make them. You’re all going through the same problems; it’s better to tackle them together. So, make that group chat with forty people to talk over calculus problems. Worst case scenario it’s a dead chat.

Participate in homecoming activities. Homecoming is by far one of the most fun events of the year. Get dressed up; go to the game. You will meet new people and make memories. Reclaim your title as the “main character” in this story by participating. Trust me, it’s those memories you will remember.

Take pictures and videos, but not too many. You’re going to want to look back on this; the good, the bad and the just okay. So, take pictures at homecoming. Take a video when you’re freaking out about that test with your friends. Pose in the theater during the merit session. However, don’t stay immersed in your phone trying to document every waking hour. Your Snapchat shouldn’t be the only thing remembering your memories.

Finally, try your best. It’s likely that this year you will be taking more difficult classes. This can be scary. It’s easy to feel like you don’t belong in a challenging class or it’s too much. Be honest with yourself when evaluating your schedule, but don’t undermine your potential either. Nothing good comes without effort.You may just find that your limit reaches farther than you expected with just a few more hours studying.

My junior year could’ve easily turned into the worst year of my life. School shut down. My grades dropped after I got the flu. But when school shut down, my friends and teachers were there for me. When my grades dropped, my teachers didn’t give up on me. Now, I’m going into senior year with a strong support group and a me I can be proud of. Life is a movie. You just have to use the right lens to see it properly. Don’t fall into a horror story when you can live a comedy with a mere change in thinking. Cheers to growth!

Verdict: Flip; Junior year changed my life for the best.

Bella Ramirez, junior, is a Marvel fanatic and hardworking leader. You can find her panicking over deadlines for her four publications (Pressing the Future, Patriot Post, French Newspaper and WAHS) or planning presentations for Key Club most days. When she’s not working then, well, she’s always working. Beyond journalism, she pursues film through directing, producing and writing. She’s excited to present her first feature film in 2019 and its sequel in 2020.

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