Junior Year-in-Review

By: Talia Schwartz, Junior

Junior year is considered to be not only the most challenging year of high school, but also an integral part of one’s high school experience. Juniors are exposed to the college application process that mostly defines their senior year while they are also taking difficult classes to show off their academic skills. Junior year consists of standardized tests in addition to high school milestones, including Junior Prom and sports games. Junior year for the Class of 2023, however, has been unprecedentedly challenging as we were still accustomed to the online and hybrid school model that was used during the pandemic, which greatly altered our first two years of high school. But, this school year has given our class a glimpse into what the post-pandemic future holds, which we hope to preserve into our senior year.

We started our junior year with hopes of returning to the pre-pandemic normalcy of our freshman year. Students wanted to sit next to their friends in class and stop wearing masks to school. While there was a major Covid outbreak during January and new strains seemed to emerge rapidly (such as Delta and Omicron), eventually the pandemic slowed. We took our masks off officially after April vacation, and people are finally adjusting to this change. In addition, the work load has increased greatly with the end of the pandemic.

Marblehead High School’s football team won their first championship game, increasing student morale as we all flocked to Gillette Stadium in Foxborough to witness the momentous achievement. At the same time, many juniors took on leadership positions in their clubs and sports teams. These students set an example for the underclassmen and committed themselves to running the team or organization. Due to students’ roles this year, sports captains were chosen for our senior year.

Many juniors take their first Advanced Placement (AP) courses with the goal of receiving college credit if they achieve a passing score on the exam. If the AP exam doesn’t go well, students hope to simply bolster their GPA’s with AP classes on their transcripts. Similarly, juniors have to study rigorously for standardized tests, either the SATs or the ACTs. Despite the fact that the majority of colleges have decided to go test optional for the Class of 2023, juniors still take standardized tests to test their knowledge. However, they know that if they do poorly, they don’t have to submit the score on their college application. Meanwhile, all juniors (and sophomores) took the PSATs (practice SATs) in the fall to prepare for the SATs.

Junior Prom was an amazing experience for our entire class. After pictures and walking down the infamous red carpet, students took a bus to the Peabody Marriott. This venue was the perfect location for our prom and produced many unforgettable memories for the Class of 2023.

More recently, juniors were invited to the Underclassmen Awards Ceremony and received recognition for their achievements throughout this school year. Juniors also have to vote on class officers for next year, which will occur during a Magic Block period.

The Class of 2023 abruptly woke up Marblehead’s residents during the Senior Sunrise tradition a few weeks ago, when we initiated the beginning of our final year of high school.

As we approach the end of the school year, the juniors are beginning to feel extreme burnout from the challenges of this year, but we can not wait to start senior year. Next year will bring more excitement with Senior Week, Senior Prom, Powder Puff, graduation, and other traditions and events.

Marblehead High School’s Class of 2023 juniors had an amazing school year, and I cannot wait to see what will happen next year as we embark on the brutal but eagerly awaited college application process!

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