Junior year collides with Covid

Claire Loyd, Features Editor

Junior year. The year dreaded by quite possibly every high schooler. AP Physics, Biology, AP Language, SATs, ACTs, GPAs, class ranks… Junior year looms many heavy responsibilities over 16- and 17-year-olds’ heads. With this school year starting online then transitioning to a hybrid in-person/online schedule, it’s definitely not the junior year we all thought we would have.

Class of 2022 has been looking forward to finally being an upperclassman – the good side of the pep rallies, off-campus lunch, and prime student section spot at football games. Much of these perks seemed to be halted with the Covid virus becoming a part of our lives. But, are these Covid-style classes making our junior year easier? 

Many juniors said they miss the school spirit and extracurricular activities, but not so much the academic side. 

“I miss pep rallies the most,” junior Cheerleader Gema Upton said. 

School spirit doesn’t feel the same without everyone gathering in a crowded gym to cheer on our football team before a big game. 

“I really miss dressing up for spirit days at school and for the football games,” junior Carsen Clark said.

Some juniors say Martin just doesn’t feel like Martin anymore. 

“I miss seeing everyone every morning and being able to talk in groups with each other,” junior Summer Dunaway said. 

Even the class experience doesn’t feel the same. 

“I miss hands-on activities, especially in the elective classes,” Elizabeth Granger said.

After asking a small group of juniors if they think this year is easier academically than it would be if we were fully on an in-person schedule at school, the results were overwhelming. Almost everyone asked agreed that they think classes are easier online than they would be in person. 

“I get to work at my own pace,” junior Kate Atkins said.

Getting to work in a comfortable environment, free from the common distractions at school can be very beneficial to some students. 

“I get to take naps when I finish my work early,” junior Allison Greenwood said. 

I personally feel that getting to work at my own pace, in an environment  I’m comfortable in, can be nice some days, but it is also hard because now school and home aren’t separate. I feel like there is no break in school life and home life. 

Another downside is not getting to ask the teacher questions in real-time while working on classwork or an assignment. Last year, when I had a question on an assignment or a part of the lesson, it was easy to just get up from my desk and ask the teacher my question and get a response right then. Now, we have to email a teacher with any questions we have, which can sometimes result in confusion and delayed answers. 

Another difference this year is lunch. With junior year being the first year we are allowed off-campus during our lunch period, instead of a crowded Chick-Fil-A on Little Rd most students are eating alone at home. 

“I miss eating lunch with my friends,” junior Daniela Morales said.

 While some students actually like being able to eat lunch whenever they want from the comfort of their homes. 

“I get to eat a better lunch than the same Uncrustable sandwiches every day,” Clark said.

The SAT test is something many students prepare to take their junior year in order to prepare to apply for college applications. I signed up to take the test in June, then it got canceled. Frustrated, I decided to sign up for a test in October. Sadly, that was canceled as well. I have my Fingers-crossed my test in November remains available. Many Juniors, as well as 2021 Seniors, are beginning to stress in fear they won’t get a chance to take the test enough times for the score they hoped for, or even get a chance to take the test at all. 

Although this year may not be the year we originally had hoped for, we have to look at the bright side; we can do school in our PJs every day if we want, we can take bathroom breaks whenever, and we can get up and get snacks anytime.