‘Junior spring’ has sprung

 

Last Saturday, thousands of juniors and I had the unfortunate experience of taking the SAT for the first time.

On the first free day of spring break, about 200 juniors and myself lined up outside of Rye High School, nervous and ready to get to the real beginning of break. This anticipation was heightened by the unusually rude school official who made us all sit outside in the 30 degree morning as we waited, calculators and number 2 pencils in hand.

Once we were finally inside from the cold, I sat down in my classroom, hyper-caffeinated and nervous as can be. By the ninth section of the test, however, I was essentially indifferent. The fourth hour of seemingly pointless multiple choice questions left us all truly exhausted and I couldn’t care less about how line 19 of the mid-19th century progressive writer’s autobiography passage related to line 34 of that writer’s ideological opponent’s passage.

When it finally ended and the rude proctor yelled us out of the building, I looked forward to the next week. I had the extreme privilege of going to Costa Rica the first week of spring break. I am seriously blessed to be able to go on such a great vacation. So many people don’t get the opportunity to do so and I feel incredibly lucky to be in the position of even having a vacation.

But while I felt grateful to do this, I felt bad for my classmates. While I would have to go on college visits the week after, a large part of my class had to finish their first SAT, then go on college visits all over the country and then spend a grueling week of training for their spring sport. Their “break” from school was hardly a break at all. It was more of a temporary lapse from school work to complete extra-curricular work.

The term “junior spring” is tossed around — not as seriously as “senior spring” — and it really does exist. The start of junior spring is to me, ironically, the start of spring break. Our AP teachers tell us to begin studying for the exams over break, most of us take our first SAT, some of us begin our spring sports (I feel terrible for the kids doing crew) and college visits begin.

When I start thinking for things to write about in this column, every time the topic of “junior year” crosses my mind. Accordingly, every time it does, I tell myself it’s a stupid topic because no one really wants to hear about how tough some junior thinks school is. Coming up with topics is difficult, but doable, and I usually ask myself the question, “What are people expecting reading a column called Growing up Greenwich?”

The only answer I can give is that I try to give some sort of insight into high school life. I still write about the trials and difficulty of junior year because it is, as I have come to the unfortunate conclusion, our lives. I don’t mean to say that the only things my classmates and I ever think about is college, school, and grades, but that junior spring is not just another time period in high school life. Junior spring is shaping up to sort of consume us in one way or another.

I wish I could write about my opinion on some other topic, but realistically, the next two months in any junior’s life are devoted to a single goal. It’s not something that I like to think about or admit and it’s not as if we are all crazed on this subject, but the two months ahead of us are unfortunately going to be the toughest months of our lives, and that’s something that I, at least, can’t try to ignore.

 

Henry Haig is a junior at Brunswick School.

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