By Schuyler Holleman '20
Well, ladies and gentlemen- it has happened. Another summer has come and gone and, much to the dismay of those that don’t appreciate my specific brand of humor, I have once again been asked to write a “funny” article for the Exchanged. I’m sure many of you selected this article expecting me to write about the too-well-known struggles of junior year: extra-curriculars, hard classes, AP exams, etc. And, even more likely, I’m sure many of you expected me to write something about needing gallons of caffeine to get through the year or how many times I cried in Hearst Hall last fall. If that’s what you came for, there are many other NCS students who can give you such advice, and I urge you to look elsewhere.
So, the answer is no. Coffee is not the solution to all of your problems. To my dear NCS classmates (who I love and respect so please don’t take offense), and some STA boys, please chill out. We are all aware of stress culture but oh boy, did junior year really make me realize how truly pervasive unhealthy habits are at NCS. You’ve heard it before, but drinking a Redbull at 9 PM to pull an all-nighter is not necessary. Spending three hours on your phone, starting homework at midnight, and then complaining about how it’s your teacher’s fault for assigning so much work? That’s one I’m sure everyone is getting tired of. I’d say my biggest tip for junior year is to take some responsibility and learn to be self-aware and self-correct. I’m over the close’s mentality that taking care of yourself is a joke. Sure, maybe that’s not the funny punch line you expected from my “humor” article, but I love to keep people on their toes. And your teachers do too, so juniors, you’d better start thinking fast.
So, here’s the real deal: there’s no magical secret to surviving junior year. You just do. I had my fair share of breakdowns and moments of stress, but hey- I came back for more. I’m not a tutor, so I can’t tell you the best way to take notes in Foner or to memorize the steps of DNA replication- though I’m sure we all wish there was an easy path. So, to my juniors, and others who read this (maybe just to see if I’m a good writer because we’ve all read someone’s article for solely that reason), I will leave you with a shortlist of the small things that got me through junior year.
Now, I will admit, this article became much more serious than I had originally intended (sorry, Priya!). However, as an oh-so-mature senior now, I guess maybe I’m finally growing up. So, to my juniors, best of luck, you got this. And to everyone else who read this article, I hope my literary prowess is up to your standards.