High School Throughout the Years

[Centerfold February 2013]
Blurbs by BHAVNA BHATIA, senior

WALKING DOWN the notoriously crowded halls of JP, you can easily pick up on the distinct idiosyncrasies of each grade, freshmen carrying their weight in textbooks and seniors sporting their blank don’t-know-don’t-care expressions. But what if you haven’t learned how to distinguish students by grade? Take a look at a sample of JP students through the years.

FRESHMEN: As the newest guppies to join the fishbowl known as high school, a freshman is easily identified by his level of motivation and determination to join all the clubs! He is often seen with all of his books clutched to his chest, along with labeled and color coded binders. It’s almost adorable how much freshmen care about punctuality. With careful observation, one can see the poor freshman’s dreams shattered as he discovers that there is no pool on the third floor. Be careful when approaching these creatures — their diminutive height and mound of textbooks can make them hard to see.

“Sometimes I wish I could go back to middle school… just kidding.”
— Aneesh Deshpande

“I’ve met so many new people here at JP. It helps to know who your real friends are, but never be afraid to make new ones.”
— Sam Marshall

“High school may not be picture perfect, but every flaw is a new experience. It’s what you make of it that counts.”
— Kelsey Shalonis

“The transition was kind of overwhelming at first, but once things settled down and I joined a few clubs, high school started to get pretty fun.”
— Stephanie Zhang

“I’ve learned more about responsibility and what it means to try your best.”
— Anthony Castelo

SOPHOMORES: Lovingly referred to as “worse than freshmen” by upperclassmen, sophomores still harbor the hope that this year will be better, that this year will live up to the television high school experience they’ve dreamt so fondly of, but the only real significance of this year is the exponential amount of Sweet 16’s. An unfortunate downfall of this year is the sophomore slump when students lose the motivation they had as freshmen and the stress of junior year hasn’t hit them yet. Students also notice that the friends they held so closely in middle school are no longer around as much due to divergent extracurriculars and a lack of mutual classes, but that new, generally better, friends take their places. Sophomore year is filled with highs and lows, and they will need all the ambition they can muster to push through junior year.

“All of the other grades have something to stress about. I guess sophomore year is a year to enjoy ourselves.”
— Nina D’Amiano

“Study hard, sleep well, have friends… pick two.”
— Teja Gutti

“What’s the point of going to school unless you get to see your friends?”
— Pragati Khandelwal & Shubhi Tandon

“I’m afraid that my sleep debt will carry over into junior year.”
— David Zhao

“It’s definitely a lot easier than last year; at least we’re not freshmen anymore.”
— Siddharth Hariharan

“Just when I think I’m getting used to life at JP, something crazy always happens.”
— Ross White

JUNIORS: This is by far the most stressful of all four years. Juniors can be identified by the dark circles under their eyes and the nails that have been bitten into nubs. They often carry multiple SAT and SAT II books. Rumor has it, the person with the most SAT books gets bragging rights for the rest of the year. Just be careful when approaching juniors, as they are quickly agitated, can get violent if provoked, and only talk about SATs. They’re so motivated to excel in everything they attempt, it’s both inspiring and embarrassing. However, like every other year, with enough perseverance, this too shall pass.

“It’s a lot of work, stress and responsibility, but I think it’s all part of the experience.”
— Natalie Hines

— said nobody ever

“Junior year made me open my eyes to everything that’s going on around the world.”
— Steven Xie

“Junior year is probably the most tiring and stressful year of all. I never knew it was physically possible to take three naps in one day until this year.”
— Carin Yao

“We finally have power over the underclassmen.”
— Nitasha Goyal

“It’s very trying and difficult but it will all be worth it next year when we get our college acceptances.”
— Lahari Sangitha

“Junior year can be a living nightmare.”
— Emily Cai

SENIORS: At the beginning of the year, seniors may look harried and burdened as they carry the stress of SATs and college apps. However, as the year progresses and senioritis begins to settle in, they slowly lose the stress (along with their books) until their daily school supplies dwindle down to one spiral notebook and a pencil they found in the hallway. Anything due first period suddenly becomes something to do first period. Teachers have tried to motivate, inspire, and even reprimand seniors into working, all to no avail. After three and a half years of hard work, stress, and all-nighters, seniors are ready to sit back, relax, and enjoy the show.

“I wish I had spent more time making friends and hanging out so that I would have someone to ask out to prom.”
— Anonymous

“Senior year is the last Big Bang of high school… the beginning is rough and there’s a lot of work that comes with the college application process, but once that’s over it’s the most enjoyable year. It’s the culmination of everything you’ve worked at for the past three years, and it’s really nice to create lots of great memories before you leave it all behind and go off to college.”
— Nicolette Walters

“JP Stevens is tough, but rewarding. I found it hard to look beyond the walls of high school because I was challenged so much, but once I did, I knew I was ready because of what I learned in school.”
— Avinash Saraf

“Senior year isn’t exactly the party I hoped it would be, but it is certainly fun, especially when I can get lovingly trolled by my best friend in almost every class.”
— Daisy Zhang

“In just four years each of us has developed a passion for something—something no one else loves in quite the same way. In senior year, the mountain gets steeper, more chilling, more treacherous. But at the summit, the view is liberating.”
— Jaimie Swartz

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