If my junior year were a person


Arpita Das

A picture of me my first semester of junior year before attending homecoming.

Dear junior year,

I’m going to be completely honest, I am not loving junior year, and it’s weird for me to even say those words that are coming out of my mouth right now. It’s nothing like I thought it would be, and it feels like just yesterday I had gotten the email that school had just shut down; in reality, that email was sent in the eighth grade, and I wasn’t even in high school at the time. 

Although it pains me to say that I’m in my third year of high school, I can’t help but think that I’d rather stay in high school forever. Don’t get me wrong, I want to go to college, I really do, but at the same time, it feels like I have everything I need right here. 

I have everything I’ve ever wanted, and I’m so happy with the current stage of my life right now—in fact, I couldn’t be happier—but at the same time, I’m afraid of everything changing. 

I have the best friend group anyone could ask for, a family that I can always depend on, and grades that will most definitely get me into a good college. But, at the same time, what scares me is the fact that my life will change in ways that entail factors that I won’t ever be aware of. 

High school hasn’t been that for me; to put it quite literally, it’s been a rollercoaster of emotions.”

I want everything to stay the same, I want to be the same age and live the same life forever. But at the same time, I want to stop depending on my parents, experience a new life outside of Michigan, and most importantly, take myself to heights never achievable. 

For me, the impossible never felt possible until COVID-19 happened; which, by the way, felt like a slap in the face, because it almost felt like a wake-up call that was saying, “The time to live your life is now, you only live once, so please don’t waste it!” 

Here I am, in my junior year of high school, and although people say high school is supposed to be the best time of your life, if I’m being completely honest, high school hasn’t been that for me; to put it quite literally, it’s been a rollercoaster of emotions. 

Despite the fact that it’s been one crazy train ride making it to this point in my life, I wouldn’t have it any other way; I just need to crank it out for one more semester.

It hurts me to even think about the fact that I’m already halfway through my high school career, mainly because of college. College, for me, doesn’t mean starting the next chapter of my life, it means starting an entirely new era of my life. The era that I never thought I would get to experience simply because I felt like I wasn’t smart enough. 

It feels weird to say that in approximately two years, I will become an alumna of this school, because truly speaking, I just don’t want to leave; I have too many good memories of this place, and I’m always so jealous of the incoming freshman class and all of the teachers that they get to cherish more memories with. 

Although I can’t stop time or even go back to it, one thing for sure is never changing: no matter where I am, how old I get, or how much I feel like giving up, one thing that always keeps me going is my teachers, the lessons and the memories that I’ve created with them. 

My only hope for the future is that the students who are given the chance to have such remarkable teachers will cherish the time they have with them before taking it for granted or letting time lose its grasp from their hands.