Let me tell you a little something about junior year: it happens all at once.
One minute you’re enjoying your new position as an upperclassman, flaunting knowledge of how to go out to lunch and make it back to school on time and the next you’re cramming during brunch for that science quiz you had forgotten about. Not to mention all the homework, the extracurriculars, the SATs and the dormant monster that is college applications still to be done.
It’s especially difficult for someone like me who is prone to procrastination to protect my fragile, fragile feelings. I can’t buckle down and contemplate the consequences of earth’s temperature rising by one degree when I am one degree away from having a fit. I tell myself that when I do manage to finish everything that that feeling of accomplishment will be well worth it but then I remember my night is not done. Somehow I still have to memorize words like “obstreperous” that have more letters in them than meaning.
I can’t be the only who cringes when someone starts talking about anything that’s more than one month away. It’s plain scary knowing that soon enough I’ll have to decide what I’m going to do for the next four years of my life. I can’t make decisions of that caliber. I can’t even commit to a lunch spot, let alone a college. All I can really do is let out a sigh and remind myself that this was once the future and hey, I survived.
Yet all those sighs take their toll on you eventually. Some of us might not be as upfront about it as others but sometimes we do feel like if we even breathe wrong, the house of cards that we’ve painstakingly labored over will come tumbling down. All the heavy workload and the little payoff makes us sluggish and unhappy. It makes us want to give up because, well, if we’re not going to get into Stanford then why even bother right? It’s all very disheartening, especially for those of us who feel like that even at our best, we couldn’t get into a top school.
Despite the overwhelming nature of it all, I can’t help but admit that like people who find enjoyment in roller coasters, I revel in it. I’ve never been one to be idle. If I don’t have something to do, I’ll find something to do, whether it’s obsessively cleaning or attempting arts and crafts. For all the anxiety and redness it causes, I love those busy moments and the feeling of self-actualization afterward.
I just wish I didn’t feel like school was a high-stakes poker game.