High School Junior Year Memories

15 Amazing Junior Year Memories That I Don't Think A Busy Senior Year Will Make Me Forget

It's the last week of school, but I think of it more as the last week of my favorite year of high school.

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Ups and downs, highs and lows. Whatever I call the many bumps on the journey I had in the past nine months, that won't change the fact that the fun parts of the year were truly fun. I met so many new people and made so many new friends that I can't keep track of how quickly time is passing when I spend time with any of them. I learned so much new content in my classes that my brain hurts just trying to remember everything. I feel so happy when I imagine various moments in the past year that it just wouldn't be fitting to let them all fly away.

1. When Homecoming Dinner Couldn't Get Any Weirder

Let's just say that the restaurant wasn't as family-friendly as it had originally advertised. And, not to sound like a restaurant critic, but the food certainly didn't make up for the strange environment. In fact, I had to go home from feeling sick. But even with the mess that dinner was, the night was a crazy adventure that I doubt I'll forget anytime soon.

2. When We Went To Barnes & Noble To Study For Finals

One of my best friends and I have a tradition of going to either a local Starbucks or our Barnes & Noble just to study, and if we're not able to get our table (the one with a leg rest and outlets), then we can't focus. In fact, we'll stare at the people at our table until they leave on their own. Plus, once we get started on studying, the next two to three hours are nonstop working.

3. When We Celebrated Halloween By Hiking Through A Forest Five Times

Am I exaggerating? Absolutely not. For Halloween, a few of us volunteered at our local nature center to lead tours around the surrounding forest for the children who came to the event. From six in the evening to 11 in the night, we walked step after step through winding hills and large fields, and when the leg pain came afterward, we couldn't stop complaining.

4. When We Found A Planetarium So Close To Home

My dad and I found a small planetarium at a nearby college that was open every Friday night for anyone to visit, and we'd spend every Friday for two months going there to see how the star patterns had changed in the past week. Sometimes, I'd accidentally fall asleep during the presentations because I was exhausted from school that day, but being able to learn surface-level knowledge about astronomy was priceless.

5. When We Went To A Concert Twenty Minutes After Hearing About It

There was one time my best friend and I were studying for finals at Barnes & Noble back in December, and she brought up a concert happening at our school that was going on that night.

"Do you want to go?" I remember her asking.

So we drove quickly to school with half an hour left before it started by the time we reached. We sat there and stared at the school building, and this one song that neither of us will ever forget began playing on Spotify. That was probably the most nostalgic, heartbreaking moment I'd ever experienced. The school stared back at us, empty hallways lit up and visible through the windows, and I remember just thinking about how there would be a day that we'd see some of our friends for the last time before college.

The concert was amazing, though.

6. When We Drew Flowers On A Balloon In Physics

I had gotten a balloon in the previous class, which I brought with me to Physics. I should've known how bad of a decision it was on my part to mention the balloon because all of us took turns drawing flowers on it using a Sharpie. We were so tired that the only thing we could focus on was drawing plants.

7. When The Class Grew Glowing Bacteria Cultures

Unfortunately, our group couldn't grow our bacteria because of a small procedural error, but I still love this picture of another group's. It was magical to see how simple scientific concepts could come together to make microscopic bacteria glow just as brightly as huge stars in the sky do at night.

8. When We Watched An Episode Of "Friends" In Biology

I sometimes stumble upon this picture and laugh because we were all incomprehensibly tired in class that day. To make a point about the mystery of the debate between evolution and religion, our teacher showed us the episode of "Friends" where Phoebe and Ross debate the two concepts.

9. When Starbucks Could Never Spell My Name Correctly

As if this is the only instance of my name being spelled incorrectly. I've also received "Shraya" and "Shrenya" if we're wondering.

10. When A Club Induction Ceremony Felt A Bit Sinister

When they began to light the candles and made us stand up to take an oath (which, by the way, sounded oddly cult-like), a couple of us were wondering if we were supposed to feel a darker vibe. In any case, though, the cake they gave out afterward was the best I'd had in a while.

11. When We Built A Theme Park In Honor Of "The Great Gatsby"

Our AP Lang class channeled "The Great Gatsby" vibes when we were challenged to create a theme park that delved into the details of the book. Being tasked with creating a park for West Egg, this was the first time I got to meet three of the most amazing people.

12. When We Binge-Watched Two And A Half Seasons Of "Lucifer"

Another one of my best friends asked me one day if I'd ever seen the show "Lucifer," and I went on an entire spiel about how I watched every episode of the first season when it was on cable a few years ago.

"Okay, but do you remember any of it?" she asked.

"No, why?"

"Do you want to watch the show from the beginning?"

13. When We Went To Our Friends' Art Showcase

This showcase took place earlier in May, and it was amazing to see the talent right in our school. Three of my closest friends had their works on display, and I almost made a bet with myself to see if I'd fill up my phone storage with the countless pictures I was taking of their pieces.

14. When We Went To The Dam For An Entire Afternoon

It was unforgettable mainly because my family and I used to go to the dam all the time, but because this was probably the first time we'd gone in a year or so, I felt at home for the first time in a while. The dam is always serene, save for the sounds of children screaming and playing in the distance.

15. When We All Danced To "High School Musical" In The School Hallways

I even told the people I was with during this memory that I would never forget that night. Science Night had just ended, and with all the children gone home, we were left to clean up the experiment stations. Of course, before we could clean up, we all needed a bit of time for ourselves, and in the completely empty main hallway, five of us danced to "High School Musical" songs.

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A Few Birthday Thoughts

Goodbye teenage years, hello twenties!

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So, it is looking like I am about to leave my teenage years behind. I think that I want to reflect back on this time in my life and think about what I want to keep with me in my twenties and maybe some things I can let go. My teenage years have been full of love from my family and friends; hard work to make good grades in school and creating art. I developed several great friendships that I have held on to across the miles even though I went to college 14 hours away from our previous home. I am so thankful for the friendships I have made in college as well.

It seems like friends you make in your childhood and younger years can really stand the test of time. Maybe it is because when you became friends you were truly who you were. Everyone was genuine and didn't put up walls to protect themselves. You got to know someone on a deeper more personal level more quickly than if you had met later in life. I also think we laughed even more as children and that always creates good memories to look back on. So I think in my twenties I will try to hang on to the "childish" way of making friends. I will try to show my true self and will accept them for who they are, and we will laugh....a lot.

I think a good thing to let go of is always trying to make dead-end relationships work. When we were children on the playground and we tried to play a game together or jump rope and it just wasn't working, we would run off and find someone else. It was easy. It was just natural. Now sometimes I find myself trying to stay in a relationship by being overly nice, giving gifts, trying to find what pushes the persons "good" buttons. I might spend so much time trying to figure this person out that I leave out more solid relationships that are worth my time. So in my twenties, I will try to be more realistic about who to spend my time on. Some people are just never going to stand the test of time. I can continue to be cordial but won't let them rule my time and thought life.

As children, we loved our parents and siblings and would show love to them in a myriad of ways. Maybe it was hugs, pictures on the fridge, good night kisses, playing games, or just quality time spent together as a family. Starting my twenties, I am mature enough to realize the value of these people in my life. Thankfully, I have always known this. I was never the type that was embarrassed if someone saw me walking with my Mom or Dad or being dropped off in the Mom Van somewhere. I always knew these people loved me more than anyone else I was about to meet. But in my twenties, I plan to keep up with my family even when I am eight hours away from them. We are never too old to need the love of family.

As weird as it is to say goodbye to my teenage years, it's honestly helped me to soak in the precious moments of everyday life and treasure them even more. Every year when birthdays come around, it always serves as a reminder how quickly the days, months, and years fly by. I think that has been one difficult part of this birthday season. It's hard to say goodbye to the past, without a clear map of the future. But, I must remind myself that this is why growing up is a beautiful thing- as we live life and experience new things, we are better prepared for what the future may hold. Everything that I have experienced in my 20 years has served an important purpose- to make me into the person I am supposed to become. Yes, life is always changing and so am I... and change can be hard. Very hard. But one thing to remember is God is always constant. He will never change. No matter what number is on your birthday cake, He is always there...the same God yesterday, today and tomorrow. He is the Rock that we will always be able to cling to. Isn't that a wonderful thought? Even if we don't know what's in His plans for us in the coming year, it's important to make Him a part of our plans. Rather than worry about change, let's embrace it all- the good and the bad- and look to the Lord to see how He will guide and shape us.

Teenage years- the time has come. I must say goodbye to you now. But, you will never be forgotten. I will hold your memories in my heart forever. Twenties- I am excited for all that awaits me.

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." - Joshua 1:9

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