Junior workload greater than seniors’ despite college apps

February 2, 2010 — by Tiffany Tung

With AP courses weighing a student down and SATs and college applications in their imminent future, it’s no wonder junior year is thought to be the toughest year for any student.

Counselor Dona Feizzadeh says junior year may seem more difficult because of these pressures.

“In general juniors may seem more stressed out because in addition to their rigorous course load, they are also planning/various standardized tests,” she said.

Thirty-three percent of 2009’s graduating class attends a UC, and UCs mainly focus on both sophomore and junior years, a factor that increases pressure.

The college admissions process has also become more rigorous, she said, making students feel the need to enroll in Honors and AP classes.

Senior Craig Shih agrees with this sentiment, saying that although he might not do as well in AP classes, he feels like he needs to take the ones available to him.

“Last year, I took quite a few AP and honors classes,” he said. “I regret taking some now, but taking the classes were fairly difficult and I had to work harder [than I normally do].”

Though Shih is a second semester senior, and worked on college applications on top of his regular course work first semester, he feels relieved of much the worry and panic that came earlier.

“College applications make life really stressful, but once they’re done, they’re done” he said. “There’s nothing you can do about it until you get your acceptance or rejection letters.”

Shih feels that in general, junior year is tougher, and says that he feels that seniors have more freedom as well, which factors into his decision in saying that senior year is more difficult.

“Although the majority may think that junior year is more rigorous than senior year, and I agree with this sentiment, it really depends on what classes a student takes and their academic workload as a whole,” said Shih. “Comparing the two doesn’t seem right to me. The science and math classes offered are essentially the same, so in the end, it’s because of the student.”

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