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I overcame the stress of junior year.

Joined: 5/14/2011
Posts: 1
School has always been a source of stress in my life. I care a lot about my education but with college and my future beyond high school quickly approaching, the importance of school is intensified. I have many intelligent friends and I feel a lot of pressure to try to keep up with them academically. While their success in school encourages me to do my best, it is hard not to compare myself to them. Teachers and fellow students are always stressing the amount that needs to be done to get into college. I am constantly told that I need the perfect GPA, a high SAT score, officer positions in a club, an internship, a sport, or community service hours. People always imply that without these things, I will never be successful after high school. Obviously, I know this is an exaggeration, but it is still easy to get caught up in the college hysteria. There is so much pressure to be the perfect student.
Junior year is hard for everyone, and for me this has been my most difficult year yet. I was not really sure what I was getting myself into last year when I signed up for three Advanced Placement classes. I never thought it would be a light workload, but I didn’t expect there to be as much homework or as many quizzes and tests. For the first two months of the year I was getting the worst grades I had ever had in my life. This year I also played varsity field hockey, was vice president of my school’s Jewish club, took the SAT and subject tests, had my Bat Mitzvah, and learned how to drive.
At one point though, I realized that all the stress was entirely self-inflicted. I chose to take challenging classes. I chose to play a varsity sport. I chose to be involved in extra curricular activities. Everything that caused me stress was something that I had chosen to do. I felt like I had taken on more than I could handle and I was angry with myself for thinking I could do it all.
Eventually my junior year did start improving. I learned how to balance my schedule better in order to be on top of everything. My grades went up again. I went from benchwarmer to regular starter in field hockey. I passed my driving test. Though something felt stressful at one point, in hindsight it seems like no big deal. Issues from the a few months ago just seem petty now. I have learned that I can make it through stressful times and accomplish what I want to. I am over the college hysteria and now I just focus on being as successful as I can be. I try not to compare myself to my friends or classmates. I acknowledge when something is just impossible to get done and don’t let it bother me. I try to focus on what I can do rather than what I can’t.
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