Sofia Sipelis | Opinion Editor
Dear future junior,
Your next two semesters at San Clemente High School will be challenging, and you will indeed face some struggles. It is inevitable that the looming of college will hang over you and there will be moments of stress, anxiety, and an overwhelmed disposition about your future in general. You may feel like you are drowning in a whirlpool of treachery, lost amongst a sea of students who all appear to be doing more than you or achieving greater things than you are. You will wonder how to get through this year, and you will look to others for aid on your journey.
But don’t despair! There are many loving teachers available to support you with open arms, and hundreds of fellow students who relate to you and your worries. Although you may fear many of the things people have said about their own experience in 11th grade, remember that this is your journey, and each experience is entirely what you make of it.
A word of advice: cherish each moment. Go to every football game and enjoy the lower half of the bleachers—you’re an upperclassman now! Have fun at school dances and parades, enjoy special times with your friends, get involved in the community, go to the beach, and take time each day to just…breathe. Spend time with your family and take account of the little things in life. Along with the inevitable stress and workload, junior year is also a year of increased freedom, new core memories, and friendships that you will look back on with a smile. There is so much more to life than academics and you deserve to have a high school experience filled with laughter, adventures, and joy.
You are not your grades. The score you earned on that one really hard math test does not determine your ability to succeed. Remember that this next year is just one year—and a year that you will never get back. Before you know it, you will be packing up your childhood room, hugging your friends, and leaving your hometown to go on your own new endeavor. In moments of doubt, I encourage you to remember why you’ve embarked on such a journey in the first place and that each challenge exists solely to help you grow, learn, and become a successful individual later on in life (which I assure you, you will be). You have endured many challenges up until this point which are now behind you, and now you look to this big, wonderful future with so much ahead of you. Enjoy this journey, approach each day like it’s a blessing, and watch yourself become the person you want to be in the midst of it all.
Take a moment to be still in your anticipation. And get ready for an exciting year full of fun, excitement, strength-building challenges, and new experiences. Enjoy it because before you know it, you’ll be a senior. I wish you luck on what will hopefully be the most exciting year you’ve had yet!
A former high school junior.