Thomas Jefferson

High School | Home of the Spartans


Posted 12/04/2023 by Sophia Nicholson

When I was a student at Cottonwood Elementary, I had no idea how many pressures would come on so fast as I grew older. photo courtesy of Corey Troast

The pressures of junior year make it a difficult time to navigate.


“What do you want to be when you grow up?” said my kindergarten teacher,

“An actress!” said six-year-old me,

“A pilot!” said nine-year-old me,

“A lawyer!” said 11-year-old me,

Little did I know that in 10 years, the utterance of those 10 words would be almost as scary as the monsters under my bed. 


Junior year: 

It is supposed to be the most lively year of your high school career 

the freedom of having a license,

later curfew, 

No assigned seats. 


With freedom comes responsibility, my father said.

College applications?

Life interests?



Social responsibility: 

Do I do my homework or go out with my friends?

Should I spend more time with my friends or spend more time on myself? 

Do I even want to hang out?


What do I want to be?

How do I make money?

What does everyone else want me to be? 

Who do YOU want to be when you grow up? 


“What do you want to be when you grow up?” abruptly became one of the scariest questions to be asked, 

I no longer want to be an actress,

I no longer want to be a lawyer, 

I want to be me.  


You can be led in so many directions.

Going to college,

Taking a gap year,

Study abroad,

Working at McDonalds.


I’m so excited to become independent, 

To live on my own, 

To not have to ask permission to leave, 

To have the complete realization of free will over my entire life,

To be independent is to be free. 


There are so many pressures,

Pressure from parent,

Pressure from teachers,

Pressures from non relevant distant family members. 


The reason planes do not fall out of the sky is because there are so many pressures coming from all directions…

The pressures keep it afloat.