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  • Writer's pictureCarter Cote

Closing the Curtain on Junior Year

The show is over. A culmination of stress and anxiety leading to two grueling weeks of final exams highlighted the 'final bow' on what had been the most eventful, yet demanding year of my academic career. Not sure if I'm ready for the encore.

Our school's Tutoring Program took a field trip to downtown LA to end our academic year.

Phew. Junior year is finally over, and what a rollercoaster ride it has been. As the school year comes to a close, I finally have the chance to look back on the eventful, stressful, yet memorable year that it has been. When looking back, the first two words that come to my mind are “pain” and “gain.” There were numerous times where I felt as if I was overwhelmed with the amount of work on my plate, where my stress compounded with commitments to basketball, Boy Scouts, and COC classes. However, I always felt as if I improved as a student afterwards. I always felt as if the process was not only getting easier, but faster. I began to improve my productivity in the classroom by developing a greater level of focus for reaching mini-deadlines for large projects. I also learned about the value in completing a project early on, simply because it is fairly common to encounter conflicts along the way. Having numerous projects with limited timelines has really allowed me to improve my efficiency as a student and my ability to manage my time.

How I Have Grown as a Student

From analyzing the different texts and perspectives that we have encountered this semester, I have learned to challenge the authenticity or sincerity of an individual’s argument. Rather than remaining narrow minded and shaping my opinion quickly, I consider different perspectives before developing an opinion about the argument in question.

Here, I'm editing an essay from one of my peers as a member of my school's Student Tutoring Program.

If it were sophomore year, I may have believed Former Governor of Louisiana

Bobby Jindal’s argument that assimilation would unite America, especially considering the ongoing discussion about controlling immigration. However, through my enhanced perspective, I considered several different perspectives towards the morality of assimilation before crafting my response. I had to consider the perspective that assimilation can attack the integrity of a person’s identity and the perspective that assimilation is actually anti-American by discouraging diversity.

Establishing a growth mindset as the year went on, I began to continuously yearn for new knowledge about the world. In fall, reading Slavery By Another Name challenged my belief that slavery had ended when the 13th amendment was passed. After learning this, I wanted to learn more about perspectives and texts that would challenge my default way of thinking, which was to believe everything that I read. As a result, I began to develop a fascination for broadening my perspective. I began to be more active in keeping up with the news, to watch documentaries about society’s injustices, or to even watch comedy shows that discuss political issues in a lighter manner. I began to view myself as a global thinker, as I sought to expand my horizons and to continuously learn about the world around me.

My Thoughts on Our Class Culture

One thing that I have definitely taken note of is the support that we have for one another. I have noticed that my peers go out of their way to help me whenever they can if they notice that I am struggling with an assignment or with personal issues. As a result, I do my best to encourage this culture by doing the same, and always checking on my fellow peers.

In terms of growth, I felt as if there was a lack of accountability held amongst each other as peers. Procrastination was encouraged, and it was difficult to focus at times when people that did not want to work ended up distracting the people that were focused.

What to Take Into Senior Year..

Going into next year, I hope that I can continue to employ my improved study techniques, my work efficiency towards completing large projects, and my ability to consider multiple perspectives. My growth in work efficiency and study habits will allow me to complete assignments faster and earlier before the due date, especially considering the fact that the work load will increase next year. Next, I hope that my new tendencies to be conscientious of foreign perspectives and to be a global thinker will allow me to continue to enhance my perspective and to solidify my opinion on an argument.

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