Renee’s Survival Guide to Your Junior Year

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Renee’s Survival Guide to Your Junior Year

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Credit to Pixabay

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Credit to Pixabay

Credit to Pixabay

Big Mood

Renee Chaples, Secretary

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With only two weeks remaining in the school year students seem to be throwing in the towel. The seniors have since graduated and most classes have already taken their finals, so now all that remains are the eager underclassmen. The 2018 juniors have already started to show symptoms of having “senioritis” and there’s no surprise.

Junior year is by far the most academically challenging year for any high school student. Not only are colleges judging your every move but with it comes the dreadful transition from child to young adult. Typically, in your sophomore year students turn 16, which in the United States signifies the legal age to obtain a license after paying an arm and a leg for the pretentious drivers’ education courses. The state of Massachusetts mandates that in order to start the process you must first obtain a permit “How so?” you may ask. Well, you will get to endure the disorderly mess that is the DMV. If you’re lucky, the DMV will not be busy, meaning a normally six hour wait has been reduced to three hours. In order to receive a permit you must bring with you: an original copy of your birth certificate (or any legal document proving you are a Massachusetts resident and a valid identification), thirty-dollars to pay for the test fee, and your legal guardian. After paying you take the test (which is notable just common sense) and when you pass you are given your permit right on the spot. There, you did it! You can drive, but only if there is an adult over 21 years of age who has had their license for at least a year.

Next up is the painstaking process of going through drivers’ ed. If you’re lucky (and privileged) your parents will pay the five-hundred dollar fee for you. If not,  you better start finding online job applications (we will get to that later). If your parents love you they will pay the extra amount to get you into Meadows Driving schools. If they enroll you in Belmont, well, you can expect your license about two years after you graduate. Driving school is easy, you show up learn more common sense about traffic safety, take a test, and boom! You’re done. Now to schedule some on-roads. Belmont students, you may want to skip this next paragraph since that will not happen for another four months for you.

If you have phone anxiety, great news! No one cares about your completely valid mental condition. The driving school will force you against your will to pick up the phone and call them to schedule the twelve on-roads and plan your potential road-test date. Now that a good 30% of your free time has been dedicated to driving lessons, you can now go get a job to take up another 40%. Those unprivileged kids may want to tune in now.

For this stepping stone of your life, the internet will be your best friend (if it is not already). Almost nowhere does paper applications anymore. I personally used a website and app called “Snag-a-Job” to obtain my current retail position at Cracker Barrel. Noted finding a job with no prior job experience is the most tedious pursuit for a teenager. The clock is ticking and you only have around two and a half years to raise money so you’re not living in a box as an adult, however no one seems to want to hire you. The key is to remain persistent, keep calling the company and asking for updates if you’re truly serious about a job, and just keep applying to places. Eventually you’ll be given your teen-equivalent of a “big break.” Hopefully this job is understanding of normal teen-life, otherwise you can kiss your social life goodbye but hey you’ll at least finally be able to afford that drivers’ education cost after about four months of working.

Now let’s get into the academics of junior year. If you’re a huge nerd, you will probably be taking AP classes. AP, or Advanced Placement classes, will count towards college credits, but only if you pay to take the test at the end of the course. Palmer High offers classes in nearly every subject such as Art, Math, Science, History, and English. Some classes vary in difficulty although they are all advertised to be a “ freshman college-level” course. Moving forward, as a lucky student of Palmer High, you get to take some of these classes in your first semester, then process to forget everything you learned just in time for the test in the spring. Did I mention that the tests also cost around $95 per test? So, if you took all AP classes you’re looking at a $380 bill in order to take and obtain all the college credits. With this hefty bill, you also get a pretty colored cord to wear with your cap and gown at graduation and a huge self-esteem boost. If you cannot afford to pay this bill, the school cannot force you to take the test, so fear not. However, you will not get the cord or the college credits.

Along with AP test, you also get to take the SAT in the spring. Yay! More standardized testing! The SAT is another test you get the honor of spending money on to take. The test (with the essay) will cost you $64 and if you show up late on your scheduled test date, guess what? Your money goes down the drain, kind of like all your hopes and dreams! If you do manage to pull yourself out of bed at 7 a.m. on a Saturday, make sure you bring a graphing calculator, two number 2 pencils, and a snack because god forbid you pay $64 and the school provides you with those materials. The test itself is not too bad, however the math sections are 89% statistics so be sure to study that subject. After you take your test, you go home and wait anxiously for another two weeks before you get your test scores that determine whether you’re going to clown-college or to an Ivy League school.

So to my successors of junior year, I bid thee good luck. I will be busy chilling out in my super easy classes, having no worries of any standardized tests, and probably taking afternoon naps. Oh, I nearly forgot! I also be dealing with the threat of the “real-world” and how ill-prepared I am to handle living on my own, in a foreign area. So hats off to another existential crisis.

Renee Chaples, Editor-n-Chief

Hello! My name is Renee Chaples. I am the Editor-n-Chief for the fall semester since Aislinn will not be able to return to Paw Print until January. Alongside...

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