High School Experience Essay on My Junior Year
Junior year has certainly been a roller coaster that consisted of numerous high points and low points. There were many times this year where I was ready to give up and there were other times where I felt on top of the world. A great deal of challenges faced me this year, as I was forced to adapt to life without my mother along with new people coming into my life. However, I was fortunate enough to enjoy doing what I love most in many ways, from traveling the world to experiencing my religion on a new level. I will never forget my junior year of high school, as it was an important year that shaped me into the person I am today.
While I did experience a great number of setbacks throughout the year, I was able to partake in events that certainly made my year memorable. I was able to travel to Spain for a family wedding and to Denver, Colorado for my youth group’s International Convention. These trips rekindled my love for traveling that I lost due to not traveling for a period of time. However, my trips mostly allowed me to live in the present and forget about factors that were out of my control, such as my mother’s death. Being able to live in the present and not allow outside problems to worsen my mood permitted me to feel happy and carefree, which was a rare occurrence during this year.
Getting my license and having the ability to drive truly changed my year. When I was angry or sad in certain situations, I was able to remove myself from them and think and process my feelings, instead of rushing my responses and not speaking how I really felt. Driving also eliminated a great amount of stress from my life, as I no longer had to find rides and worry about how I was going to get to places. I was also able to attend more events and meet new people that I formed close connections with. Having this ability truly made my year much more positive.
Participating in East’s musical this year gave me an opportunity to express myself in a way that was completely new to me. It allowed me to step out of my comfort zone and try new things. I was challenged frequently and was forced to learn new ways that ultimately made me a better actor and dancer. I also created new friendships with people that I did not know, and I was also able to form stronger bonds with the cast and crew, as I practiced with them frequently. My junior year consisted of multiple events that made me feel happy, which was important as I was struggling with my mental health and other aspects, especially in my school work.
My Numerous Obstacles
As mentioned previously, I had to overcome numerous obstacles during my junior year. When my mother passed away, I developed three major mental disorders because my mother was the most important person in my life and it was near impossible to cope with her death and function again. My depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder severely hindered my junior year altogether; I took many mental health days, and I sought help in the form of therapy to learn how to properly grief over my mother and how to manage my disorders effectively. I am not 100 percent better, and I frankly believe that I never will be; my mother’s death affected every single person that knew well.
To make matters worse, my father was engaged to a woman that was toxic to my family for several months during my junior year. She did not like how I spoke my mind when I felt a pertinent issue arising, thus causing her to dislike me. Throughout their relationship, my father’s ex-fiancee eventually managed to turn my dad against me. Countless arguments arose between my father and I, which made my mental health suffer greatly. Thankfully, they are no longer engaged, and my father is now in a relationship with a woman who cares about my entire family. She has helped me through low points of my junior year, and without her I would most likely be in an undesirable state of mind, with no hope of feeling pure happiness.
Being in a Jewish youth group with people who I share many similarities with made me elated for most of high school, as I finally felt like I had a group that I fit in with. However, when I decided to caucus for President of my chapter, I was defeated. This made my mental health suffer substantially, as I no longer felt a connection to a group that I poured my heart and soul into. I proceeded into junior year feeling hopeless, as my peers in school moved on without me. With the help of my therapist and the few friends I had, I was able to build thriving relationships with companions from both school and my youth group, which boosted my overall happiness in life as a whole.
As one who hindered my junior year by handling my emotions irresponsibly, I can say with confidence to future eleventh graders that you must not let outside actions affect your performance in school. Although not completing assignments may ease stress levels, your future is directly related to your performance in high school; a temporary happiness is not worth damaging your adult life for. If you are experiencing difficulties outside of school, I wholeheartedly recommend using school as a place away from your problems; a place where you are able to focus on what will be important to you as you progress through life. I urge all incoming juniors to work hard this year, as I am sure that you will thank yourself later in life.
Upon reflecting, I have come to the realization that my junior year was the hardest year of my life. I conquered several challenges that I suffered tremendously from, and I underwent multiple courses of action to improve my mental health and ultimately stop my rapid spiral into crippling depression. I am in no way perfect; I do not wish to be either. I am extremely grateful for the struggles that I have encountered, as they have prepared me for any obstacle that I may face later in life. Overall, I am extremely satisfied of how I handled issues that were presented to me over the course of the year, as I feel immensely prepared for any issues that life applies to me.