Students share their struggles and give advice on the much dreaded, junior year of college.
Graphic by: Rebekah Rutledge
Junior year is claimed to be the most difficult year of college. It’s the “not quite there, but almost” year. Junior year is a tease. Right this minute students sit in dorms and apartments across St. Louis, wrapping up their junior years, suffering from early-onset senioritis, wanderlust and complete apathy for anything school related. Just know that you are not alone if you are spending countless hours procrastinating homework with Netflix and DubSmash binges. Here is what juniors and seniors at MBU have to say about the reality of junior-itis, a completely unscientific, but all-too-real affliction.
JUNIORS: How they are struggling
Katie Switzer, St. Louis
“We find ourselves ready to be done with school because we are ‘oh so close.’ I have a hard time being able to do all my studying knowing that summer is so close. Just tell myself that it’s all worth it in the end and to buckle down and do it!”
Brittni Brandwein, Warrenton, Mo.
“I do consider this to be true. Mainly because you’re so so close to being done, and you still have your senior year to finish, so mentally you are drained in the thoughts that you’ve been in school already for six semesters and you only have two more left but you know they’re going to be the most difficult which then causes you to not want to even come back to school.”
Grant Gluesenkamp, St. Louis
“Classroom-wise you start taking classes that are for the type of degree that you are in, then the workload from those classes is much more difficult. Unlike when I was an underclassman when I was only taking gen ed type of classes the class work was much easier”
Chad Otec, Crystal City, Mo.
“Not for me because I have many things motivating me to get good grades. I want to pull my GPA up, I am captain of the soccer team so I can’t slack in the classroom, and I’m getting more mature so skipping class and not doing homework isn’t cool to me anymore.”
Chris Rowland, St. Louis
“Currently I am struggling with trying to figure out the best time to start testing for police departments because of the very specific and limited testing windows. I am hoping to have this figured out next year, which is why I think junior year has been the most difficult year so far.”
SENIORS: How they survived
Bethany Chambers, St. Louis
“It’s the first time taking upper level courses and lack of motivation. Encouragement from upperclassmen and making small goals helped.”
Alen Palislamovic, Bosnia
“My friends and teammates were really helpful in motivating me through my junior year. Having small class sizes also allows professors to give students more attention and help, don’t forget to use this.”
Ryan Krupp, St. Louis
“I think the hardest part … is knowing that you’re approaching the end. Something that’s commonly undervalued is the relentless attitude that is needed to become successful in any given task. I think that’s what got me through my junior year, knowing that I had to be relentlessly conscious about the work I was doing and managing extra-curricular activities. Dealing with the stress and motivation issues became easier once I started tackling tasks one at a time and surrounded myself with supportive individuals. My advice to juniors who are struggling right now would be to make proactive changes to help gain control of their situation. … Seek advice from your closest, most supportive friends on getting through the semester.”
Justin Hannel, Austin
“Nose to the grindstone. I just kept trying to do better. Time management is really important and having someone to hold you accountable.”
Jerica Drago, Fort Collins, Colo.
“Last year I was able to get through school by getting involved in off-campus activities, such as yoga, that focus on cultivating my personal maturity instead of just my academic maturity. That has carried over into this year. I continue to practice yoga this year as well and I really feel that it has helped me with focus, endurance and self-esteem. Making sure that I had strong mental health has definitely contributed to better results in the classroom.”