Junior Year In The Midst Of a Global Pandemic


Maya Egan, Editor

 Junior year. Infamously the toughest year of high school, often being referred to as he11 year. With the pandemic still very prevalent, the school has changed in many ways for the better and for the worse. With this in mind, let’s get into my opinion of eleventh grade after being a quarter of the way through the 2020-2021 school year.

The New Block Schedule. One way that this year differs from previous years is through the block schedule, which personally I believe makes junior year easier. Yes, longer periods are often tougher to get through, but I get a fraction of the homework compared to what I got during my sophomore year. Since I don’t see every teacher every day, I get a lot less work quantity wise. During sophomore year, cumulatively homework took me around three hours to finish, whereas this year homework takes me around an hour and a half. I also believe that since teachers don’t see their students every day, they give less busy work and more meaningful projects and worksheets that actually benefit the student. During class, students are able to get more work done, which makes up for the fact that students don’t see their teachers every day of the school week.

The Hybrid Schedule. With the hybrid schedule and many people fully remote, teachers usually make examinations open note in order for it to be fair for students in person and online. This change has definitely helped improve my grades on these quizzes and exams and alleviates a lot of stress towards test-taking, which is something many high school students typically struggle with. It is also crazy to think that the majority of the year is going to be done in the comfort of my home, which is very atypical especially since this arguably the hardest years of high school. Although I miss socializing and being able to see all of my friends in school, when I’m remote, I get an extra hour of sleep and can do all of my work from the comfort of my home. 

Standardized Testing. Another way that junior year has been altered was through standardized testing. Instead of having my tutors in person, I now zoom with them in order to lessen the risk of COVID exposure. Throughout the pandemic, many test dates were canceled, and now many more dates are being added which helps current juniors and seniors a lot. Because of the cancellation of dates, many students applying to college for the fall of 2021 are given the option to not submit their scores and colleges are also becoming test blind. Another major difference is the fact that masks are required to be worn at all times, and these tests usually last over three hours which is tough for many people. 

Rye Traditions. One downside to this school year is the cancellation of many infamous Rye traditions. The big football game, Rye vs. Harrison most likely won’t occur because thousands of people go each year and it is simply not safe to have that many people in the stands. Because of this, there was no spirit week or pep rally, which are other events many people look forward to each year. Another tradition that wasn’t able to occur this year is the senior Halloween dances where seniors wear costumes and dance to a mixtape of songs they chose in front of their peers. Although the cancellation of these events is unfortunate, it is very important to remember that school administrators are trying their best to keep everyone as safe as possible during this unprecedented time.

My point in writing this article is to show how during a horrible time, it is important to look on the bright side of things instead of worrying about things we simply cannot control. No matter what, it is important to remember that in this time, we are all being so resilient with the many obstacles that come our way each day. We should all be grateful for each day we have in school, and for those working behind the scenes to keep us safe from COVID.