Junior’s Shift to “Senior Mode”


The Cinco Peso Press

Wishing things were stress free, rising seniors can use aromatherapy.

As the 2021 to 2022 school year comes to an end, the class of ‘23 becomes ecstatic as they are a few days closer to becoming seniors. As junior year is stereotypically the hardest year of high school, Clark’s juniors cannot wait for the year to be over with. Senior year is a time that most students look forward to: But with senior year comes college applications.

Many students have loaded up on AP and honors classes in hopes of boosting their GPAs and “looking good” for colleges. But what kind of toll are these classes taking on the minds of students? Many students have to juggle between their rigorous courses along with any extracurriculars, like clubs, that will benefit them in the long run. 

In the midst of running around and trying to get grades that will suffice the fierce college competition, students are often overwhelmed with their workload. Although one may consider the load of AP classes to be self-inflicted, college level courses still prove to be quite difficult for an average highschool student. The class of ‘23 is using senior year as an escape to their current year’s troubles. “The only thing keeping me going right now is the fact that I’m going to be a senior soon,” said junior Vaheh Abramian. But even the hope that senior year will be easier is not enough as it’s “one step closer to being an adult.”

More specifically, the class of ‘23 was forced to adapt to the changes brought on by COVID-19. As sophomore year was completely virtual, this year’s juniors came back to school only to experience, first hand, the toughest year of high school. With senior year approaching, the stress of an unknown future becomes unbearable as juniors begin to wonder: What if I’m not good enough? Times can be hard for a Clark student as oftentimes people believe the work they do is for nothing. The thought of not being good enough for not only highschool, but college, is a thought that is often unescapable.

Not only are colleges difficult to get into, but they are also difficult to pay for. Those who don’t have the luxury of scholarships or inheritance are looking for jobs. Many juniors find themselves working minimum wage jobs over the summer in hopes of scrambling together some money for their college funds. With relaxation time almost cut in half over the summer, those who work have an extra ounce of responsibility work on. 

However, there are ways to cope with the stressors of school. Whether it be retail therapy, watching shows, or reading books, there is always one activity a person can utilize to make themselves feel better. Aromatherapy is often overlooked but proves to be effective in calming the nerves of students, whether they realize it or not. Much of gen-z likes to purchase candles simply for the “aesthetic” but these candles are more beneficial than they appear. 

According to an article on Science Sense, candles are a shortcut to “maintaining a calm mental state, free from stress and anxiety.” Junior Ninel Megerdichian uses candles as an outlet for when her nerves are rattled. “Honestly, when school becomes too much for me I just light a candle, play some music, and relax,” said Megerdichian. Although the fear of college-aps aren’t avoidable, aromatherapy can be used as a temporary distractor; whether you’re just gazing into the dancing flame or smelling the rich aromas a candle can provide. 

Candles are not the only method for aromatherapy. With the use of essential oils, a diffuser dispenses aroma into the air to provide freshness while also a nice smell. As a teacher for junior history classes, Mr. Kursinksi understands the pressure juniors go through on a daily basis. His classroom is often full of welcoming energy as he utilizes his very own diffuser early in the mornings. As an APUSH student who has Mr. Kursinski for second period, Abramian often finds himself in a relaxed mood to start off the day. “I never realized why I always felt a soothing energy in his class but eventually I noticed the diffuser that sits near his desk,” said Abramian. Juniors have a tough time handling everything on their plates but those who are lucky enough may find themselves spending some quiet time in Mr. Kursinksi’s room.  

The class of ‘23 has undergone a change that is too often overlooked. Many have already come to the conclusion that they will be heading off to community college because their hopes of getting into any UC are down the drain. Today’s youth has already been burned out as they grow tiresome of the daily problems that come about. As college applications are soon to be one of those problems, juniors deserve to take a breather by any means necessary. 

Aromatherapy, overall, is beneficial to those who make use of the different methods it presents itself in. Although a candle can’t fix someone’s problems overnight, they may make it a little easier to handle. The goal is: instead of letting yourself burn out, let it be the candle.