adios, junior year

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Last year I told you all a few things I learned from sophomore year. That was one of my favorite posts of the year to write, I think, because I learned so much about myself, and as I typed the words, I came to a series of realizations. This year, I've tried to think of what I can take away from Junior year of high school, but I've got nothin'. Nada. Zero.

Last week, I only had one exam to take, because I made A's in every class but one. I only had one exam to study for, one exam to look for on the exam schedule posted online, but still, I came up short. I had thought the exam was Friday, but on Wednesday morning at 11 am, less than an hour before class started, I realized that for two weeks I had been reading the exam schedule wrong, and the exam was indeed on Wednesday. Not Friday.

To me, that was the reminder I needed that we all fall short on a daily basis. I had so much sitting on my plate -- mentally, at least -- that I could not even read a schedule the right way. I was so distracted and so preoccupied that I could not even manage the date of the one final I had to take. Junior year was really just a huge neon sign screaming, You are not Wonder Woman. You cannot do it all.

One evening during the school year, I was exhausted from homework and working out and everyday life, so I decided that I would study a little before bed for my upcoming APUSH test, then get up early to prepare more. That was my first mistake. My second proved fatal. I slept through my alarm, waking up three hours later than I had planned and barely leaving enough time to get ready for school. APUSH was first period, and I hardly knew what the test was on, much less enough information to actually pass. After a small breakdown and a hug from Mom, I headed to school, feeling completely hopeless and inadequate.

Later in the year, while reviewing for the European History AP exam, I was supposed to give a short talk on how I would answer an assigned short answer question. I had read all the information I needed to, and this time I was prepared, but as I walked from the back of the class to the front, my brain turned from an intellectual machine to an over-obsessive, self-conscious organ that lost all ability to function while so many eyes were glued to me. I stumbled over my words, rambled about Henry of Navarre and the Edict of Nantes, then quietly scurried back to my desk. The rest of the class, I fought the urge to burst into tears. It wasn't pretty.

In the end, neither of these occurrences, nor the many others in which I fell short, ended up mattering. I made five A's and one C that may as well have been a B. When I apply for college, that's all they'll see. But what those days and nights taught me was valuable.

Because as much as I need to be reminded that I am special and unique, I also need to be reminded that I am just like everyone else. We all fall short. We all feel unprepared. We all are completely blind in knowing the future. We're all given a life sentence on this earth, and none of us knows how long that will be.

I'm catching up on a She Reads Truth Bible study that is Lent themed. Long story short, I got super behind on my reading during Lent, mostly because of school, and didn't start catching up until recently. Today, I opened my Bible with an anxious heart, wanting to control every circumstance, accomplish everything on my to-do list, and come out unscathed. When I finished, God had shown me that it is not my job to try and control everything. Claire Gibson wrote, "God is with us, even in calamity. Our fear is not proof that our God is absent." 

I know it is so much easier said than done, but can you do me a favor? Try and focus on God's promises today instead obsessing over what will happen? I know politically, culturally, economically, and just about every way else, we are in turmoil. But don't let that stop you from living your life. Don't let all the little things you have to do distract you from the beauty you can experience every single day. Life is short, and no matter what they tell us, your grades don't matter as much as who you become.Create a person you would be proud to call a friend. Most likely, if you're reading this, trigonometry won't help you in the future, but becoming someone you don't mind being, or someone you like to be? That's priceless.

Fellow rising seniors, how did you survive the dreaded junior year, and what did you learn? Let me know in the comments!

ALSO! FUN NEWS!!! I now have a monthly newsletter! If you don't see the option to sign up on the sidebar to your right, click this link. You'll receive monthly updates and exclusive content!!! EEEP!!!


  1. Goodness gracious, has this been on my heart lately. The amount of times that I've had to completely stop and refocus my brain lately is insane. Focusing on God is SO much easier said than done, but the amount of peace that comes with it is mind blowing. Thank you for this lovely reminder. <3

    Junior year was an absolute whirlwind, although thankfully it wasn't one of my worst years academically. (Praise for getting Chemistry out of the way early XD) But I learned so much about people and God and trust and life. God is so good. He gives such good gifts. That was one of my main takeaways from this year, I think.

    So excited for your newsletter!!

  2. I'm homeschooled so my schedule is a little different (I'm not finished my school year) but I'm a junior too! It has been a hard school year; this was a great post! I'll go subscribe to your newsletter :)

    Laura at

  3. i love this post! i just finished my senior year, but i have to say that my junior year was the hardest but also the most rewarding year!