Keep calm or stress on? Junior class reflects on school year


Photo credit: Celeste Ramirez

Junior Anaya Thompson completes homework in the individual library cubbies during her free period. Many juniors described this year as “stressful” but are excited for what is to come.

Juniors fill the individual cubbies in the library last period on a regular Monday. Some are doing SAT prep on Khan Academy, some are finishing up an essay and some are sitting around, talking, having a quick break from homework. With only a few weeks left of the school year, junior Anaya Thompson said that she sees “a lot of work” ahead of her.

Junior Leslie Castaneda said that the year has been “nerve-wracking” so far.

“I’m not gonna lie — it’s been pretty stressful,” Castaneda said. “I didn’t think it would be this difficult, but it is — just managing time and taking time for myself especially.”

Juniors have officially started the college process this semester, which leaves Thompson with mixed feelings.

“The ideal college has been brought up a lot especially recently, and it’s just a scary thought for me personally, ” Thompson said. “The whole college process is really complicated, but I am optimistic for my future beyond Archer and I hope that I can find my passions.”

Junior class dean Jennifer Dohr recognized the stress juniors are under and said she has heard a mix of positive and negative opinions on the year.

“I am [proud] of the class for pushing through some of that tension and stress,” Dohr said. “I’d say for every one person who says, ‘It was worse than I expected,’ there is somebody who says, ‘It wasn’t so bad.'”

Dohr also acknowledged the way the class maintains “mindfulness.” She specifically thinks grade level representatives Angelica Gonzalez, Sophie Larbalestier and Lauren Evans-Katz have done a great job at planning activities that help juniors destress.

“I’ve asked the advisors to give some time in advisory to do meaningful check-ins to mindfulness to meditation. We actually had a fantastic spa day a couple of months ago during one of our class meetings…our grade level reps do a great job of showing funny videos or coming up with games…Today I was booking our final celebration underneath the Maypole,” Dohr said. “I think we try to make sure to inject some games and fun for the juniors.”

As the year comes to a close, juniors are anxious for the upcoming “memorable” senior year.

“I’m really excited, “Castaneda said. “It’s a really weird feeling to be like, ‘Oh wow, finally senior year,’ especially since I’ve been here since the sixth grade — it’s odd to think about that.”

Dohr, who has been the junior class dean for two years now, says she is “super proud” of her “highly-spirited” group.

“I’m in shock that my juniors, my sophs from last year, will be seniors,” Dohr said. “I think they’re going to take the school by storm, and I’m super excited to see what they bring in their final year.”