It's freshman year. I remember all the horror stories about junior year I heard from the upperclassmen and all the depressed looks on the faces of the eleventh graders. I remember telling a friend how anxious I was for my third year of high school and how I should enjoy the last bit of freedom I had as a freshman. I remember thinking how far away junior year was and how I had so much time to prepare myself.
It's sophomore year, one year closer to being a junior. I remember the built-up anxiety in the back of my mind and how I repressed those feelings by delving into schoolwork and extracurriculars. I remember, in second semester, counting down the days until the dreaded day when I would be "promoted" to a junior. I remember during the summer when my anxiety built up and when I resigned myself to the fact that I was truly entering the most hellish year of my high school career.
And finally, it's junior year. I remember at the beginning of the semester, when I admitted to a friend that I might not get all A's this year and when she readily agreed. I remember dreading the PSAT and the SAT and any standardized test or groundbreaking decision that might affect the course of my future. I remember when I reminisced on the years when I had no idea what AP stood for and the days when I had endless free time after school.
Now, it's the last day of junior year. I remember the most stressful memories of the year, but I also remember the once-in-a-lifetime experiences and the feeling of togetherness that we, the class of 2020, experienced, and which ultimately showed our strength and perseverance. I remember the first day of junior year, when we were just settling in and adjusting. I remember the last day of second semester, when we were all burned out from finals yet relieved to be done. But most importantly, I remember today, the last day of junior year. I remember reflecting on how quickly it all passed and how close we all are to graduation and college. I remember thinking a few years ago how it would take forever to reach senior year, and yet the first three years of my high school experience have gone by in a flash.
Coming into high school, I always thought that junior year was the ultimate make-it-or-break-it year. Yet now, looking back on everything as a rising senior, junior year was so much more than standardized testing and loads of AP classes. Yes, everything was stressful, and I was anxious and high-strung most of the time, but I also won't ever forget the memorable experiences I made.
I only hope I'm ready for senior year, but I still cannot believe that I am three-fourths done with high school. And so, a final message to junior year: Where did the time go?