“Junioritis” prevails: peace of mind increases proficiency

I’m currently in the clutches of what is said to be the most stressful and work-heavy year of high school, but it doesn’t really seem that way to me.

As a junior, I’m expected to slave over my desk each night and spend every waking moment of my free time preparing for any upcoming tests. No relaxing, no spending a weeknight with friends, no Netflix and chill—just studying. Sounds fun, right?

Of course not, but there is an alternative, and it’s referred to as “junioritis.” Although this term has negative connotations and is commonly intertwined with senioritis—the lack of motivation seniors experience after being accepted into college—it actually represents a positive step forward for juniors. Junioritis is simply a junior’s realization that stress is often a self-imposed, unnecessary burden. Every assignment does not require laborious effort, and every test does not require hours of studying. I can honestly say that, as someone who has embraced this philosophy, I have been met with steady grades and early bedtimes.

Even as I’m writing this article, I’m aware that I still have some math problems to do and an essay to read, but I’m not concerned. The fact that it’s already 10:00 p.m. on a Thursday doesn’t worry me either. I simply don’t feel the need to overburden myself and stay awake any later than 11:00 p.m., no matter how difficult my AP English Language homework may be (sometimes I think it’s AP Chinese Language).

Of course, to the hard-wired study maniac, this probably sounds ridiculous. But I urge you to hear me out. There truly can be light at the end of your dark tunnel of sleep-deprived nights and crushed Red Bull cans.

Furthermore, my spending a limited time on homework tonight is not representative of slacking off.

By now, we juniors have pretty much seen all there is to see with regards to the “high school experience,” whether it be relationship drama, friendship drama, family drama or schoolwork drama (basically, high school is just a lot of drama). It’s only logical that, with our three years of experience, we develop more efficient methods of doing our schoolwork.

For example, I will not cause myself undue stress tonight by spending a lot of time on math problems that, to me, look like calligraphy. Instead, I will go into class tomorrow attentive to my teacher’s explanation.

So, to my junior study maniacs, it isn’t too late to embrace the junioritis lifestyle. I know you think that staying awake all night is the only way to ensure good grades, but you’re wrong.

Just try and go to sleep earlier tonight. You won’t regret it.