The Infamous Junior Year

Screen Shot 2014-11-16 at 5.17.44 PM Bianca Stellian  Staff Writer If you take a walk through the third or fifth floor hallways, you’ll see students hanging out casually, sharing music and stories without much care. The fourth floor, however, is a different story. Locker bays are places of a kind of silence rivaled only by the library; students sit by themselves rather than with others. What could be the cause of this dynamic? Junior year. For the past few years at Latin, students in the class of 2016 have been warned of junior year and the work that it will require. So far, the 2014-2015 school year has certainly lived up to the hype – students are routinely heard comparing their workload and stress levels. And with the commencement of the college counseling process, it seems as if the stress would only go up Or would it? On Tuesday the 11th, the current juniors gathered in Wrigley to watch a presentation about the college process. Most came into it with a certain attitude – as one student puts it, “On top of already taking a course overload and having sports practices and test prep every week, thinking about college seems over the top right now.” Another said that “Being forced to sit in the theater and listen to college advice for two hours really doesn’t seem like the best way to go about it.” Junior College Night, as it’s called, is above all an informative kickoff to the eighteen-month journey the class of 2016 will take towards college matriculation. The various college counselors explained the truth about Latin’s system and the timeline for junior year. The next day in school, many students were asked their thoughts about the night, and responses were pretty much split. “It was really well-done and a lot more interesting than I thought it would be,” said one girl. “I’m definitely less stressed out about college now than I was when I walked in.” Other students had opposing views. “I still think it was unproductive,” said one boy. “I don’t see the benefit of the night at all – we played the same ‘GPA game’ that we did freshman year – and I didn’t get a lot out of it.” Despite his negative view of the night, the student did note how he found the statistics provided were interesting. I sat down with Ms. Pleshette, the director of college counseling at Latin, to discuss said statistics. The college counseling office had sent out a survey to every junior asking them their thoughts on the college process. As our grade seems to have a reputation for being “more intensely focused on college and life after Latin than I’ve ever seen,” said one senior, many were interested in the results of the survey. “The juniors seem to be way ahead of the game with testing – I know of juniors who are already done or almost done with their tests,” said the same senior. “I think it’s just too much too soon.” Despite this assumption, it turns out that only 29 out of 87 then-responders to the survey had even begun test prep, with Mrs. Pleshette adding that some of these people may be voicing intention rather than action. In terms of how she thought the night went, Ms. Pleshette said, “I was surprised at how well-informed you were,” referring to the Socrative quiz performed during the presentation in which students and parents responded to college-related questions. “A lot of you answered hard questions right that I wasn’t expecting. Then again, some people were answering the questions after the right answers were revealed, which may have skewed the data.” Ms. Pleshette also noted that the audience was very light-hearted and willing to laugh at a lot of the jokes made during the presentation, which she thoroughly enjoyed. It will be a while before juniors really get into the swing of college counseling at Latin, as classes start in second semester. Some are nervous; some, excited; some, confused. But no matter how you feel, or who your counselor is, or how you thought the presentation went, one thing is certain: you better get used to it, because you’ll be spending over a year in the process.]]>