I understand why you do it, Juniors.
I understand why you take classes dominated by seniors. I was a junior just last year, after all. It’s either because you’re on an advanced learning track or because you’re trying to alleviate requirements for senior year. I understand why you do it. It’s smart of you and I wish I had done it more to some extent. I don’t understand, however, why you have to. Listen up, because this is a public service announcement for all Juniors infiltrating senior-dominated classes.
When I was a junior, I felt so smart sitting in a class that seniors also sat in. AP environmental science and AP European History were classes with both juniors and seniors, a fact that made me feel superior. My friends were in Pre-calc, a senior class that could be taken by juniors on the advanced track. A lot of people took physics, too, to get it out of the way. It made us feel above average, and it made us laugh because sometimes, the seniors in our classes could be below average and we, in turn, got a confidence boost. It also gave us an inside look into senior year and gave us the opportunity to befriend some of the seniors. I never really understood how the seniors themselves must have felt, though, but now I do.
It’s annoying more than anything else. As someone taking pre-calc now, half of my class is comprised of juniors who reek of confidence because they are so advanced. I am also in physics with a multitude of juniors, some who understand the material more than I do, a confidence killer. It’s exciting to understand something a senior doesn’t, I get it. However, there is no more a surefire way to be hated by seniors than to rub that in our faces. If you insist on infiltrating a senior class, please don’t be cocky about it. Do not nod at teachers when you understand the material we’re learning. We get that you get it. If you get a better grade on a test than a senior, do not speak of it unless spoken to. Do not bring up college. We are under a lot of pressure in that department and we don’t need the added pressure of being inadequately compared to a junior. I don’t mean to talk about the junior class as if they’re bugs, but they can sure look that way when they try and rule a classroom. It’s no secret that the senior class has been deprived of our traditions and stripped of privileges, so the least you can do, Juniors, is leave us our seniority.
Also, while your at it, try and leave us our dignity. To have an incredibly smart junior in your class is painful, because it makes us feel stupid. We are in the midst of doing serious speculation on our grades and test scores as a result of college applications. Grades are a soft spot for us because we are either content with our transcripts and test scores or we are disappointed and trying to improve our senior year portfolio. If this is the case, there is nothing worse than a junior asking you, “why don’t you understand the material?” We are human, not geniuses, and neither are all of the Juniors. Looking at a senior with pity is frustrating, because we are all smart people and are capable of success, whether it’s in the classroom or not. I understand though, Juniors, why you do it. I did it too; it feels gratifying. However, just try to just step back and realize your effect in the room on seniors trying to graduate with confidence in tact.