Dear Nine-Months-Ago Me


Riley Laurence, Staff Reporter

The other night, I sat there thinking about all the stuff I still had to do, ignoring all the deadlines, and I wondered how my life could have been different (and how I could’ve avoided the stress I felt) had I known what I know now about junior year. I began to think about what I would do differently had I been given the opportunity to go back in time and take the year over again.

For starters, let me clarify: I would not go through junior year twice. In fact, I am thoroughly convinced that “Hell” is actually just an eternal cycle of having to go through an endless junior year of high school in which you repeatedly fail and have to start over. However, if I could have an angel sent to nine-months-ago me, here is what I would have them tell me.

Dear Nine-Months-Ago Me,

Watching you dive into far too many activities than you can handle is both terrifying, similar to a mother watching her baby play with a snake, and humorous. I know you’re still riding the high from getting good scores on your AP tests from last year, but junior year is about to run you over, back up over you, run you over again, and then spit on you to establish its superiority over you in every way possible.

However intelligent you think you may be, intelligence will only get you so far, my dear friend. Of course being smart can up your score on that AP Lang essay since you used your knowledge of the traditions and customs of marriage during the pre-Civil War era as the basis of your argument, but the most important trait to develop for junior year is perseverance.

Your brain capacity does not guarantee free 100s in the gradebook. The key to getting an A in any given class is to do the work required of you on time. Getting a 34 on the ACT does not mean you are going to pass a reading quiz in APUSH or ace a precalculus quiz. What guarantees success is having the ability to sit down after school and do the work. Your teachers can only do so much to help you out; the majority of the responsibility for maintaining an exceptional grade in your classes has to be taken by you.

Yes, Goldstein’s Manifesto in 1984 is extremely taxing (and so what if I bought the audiobook because I couldn’t get through it?), but completing the assignments necessary for class is ultimately meant to prepare you for success in the course, not to give your teachers another knife to jab into your gradebook. It may not be fun or easy, but being able to get through the many grueling assignments you will be given is a skill that will help you for the rest of your life.