Junior year: freedom comes with responsibility

By Sharif Ruebin
The Josephine Dobbs Early College High School Chronicles


It’s quite a rigorous challenge to make a smooth transition from freshman to sophomore year at J.D. Clement Early College. But once adapted, these juniors, full of enthusiasm and new responsibilities, say they have adjusted to full campus privileges.

Sharif Ruebin, editor, the J.D. Clement Chroncles. (Staff photo by Carlton Koonce)

“I really love it, there’s a lot of freedom, but you’re on your own, so it’s a lot harder,” said Amani Brown.

In the previous years each member of the junior class envied the freedom the upper classmen earn after their first two years.

“It’s wonderful, you can do whatever you like with what the campus provides,” said Daniel Mejia. “I feel more liberated, not everything is controlled.”

Controlling how you spend your time is very important. With freedom comes a lot of responsibility, something the junior class is learning.

“Not having class every day is better because we have more time to study and work together to get our homework done,” said Jamillah Scallark.

She added, “Some of the professors can be a little snarky but you have to keep your attitude in check because you’re in college now, you can’t go to the principle anymore, you just have to handle it yourself.”

Walking to class hasn’t been a problem for most juniors so far.

“Our classes are right down the street from each other, it takes about five minutes to get to your class,” said Scallark.

Most juniors agree that their first two years prepared them for junior year.

“I definitely do think the first two years were worth it,” said Mejia.

Scallark explained, “The college classes are easier. The sophomore classes at Early College are harder. That’s probably your hardest year, sophomore year.”

Scallark added that juniors might not appreciate what some teachers are doing at the moment, but they will in the future.
“You might have Ms. Walker, you may not appreciate what she is doing for you now, but you will in the long run, because that is the hardest class you will ever take at this school,” she said.

JDC Early College High School juniors (left to right) Phillip Robinson-Hayes, Briana Headen, Jamillah Scallark, & Amani Brown. (Photo Courtesy of Maia Crumbie)

Tamera Roberts said, “Once you get to the college classes, you are going to be happy that you took her class because she really helps you out with what you need to do,” and she added, “Thank you, Ms. Walker.”

By having four years of high school core curriculum stuffed throughout two years, the juniors are going into their college courses well prepared.

“It doesn’t seem like some of the NCCU students are at the same level that we’re at,” Scallarck said.

JDC Early College juniors have some advice for freshman and sophomore students making their way through the early college landscape: “Make sure you get out as much as possible; don’t stay in the building; you have the entire campus to explore,” said Roberts.

“Stick it out; do what you have to do to be successful,” said Mejia. “Don’t let anybody get in your way; you have to do what’s best for you and not what’s best for others.”

Mejia said in the end all the hard work would pay off.
“Take the opportunity and do with what you can as long as you’re attending here,” he said. “We aren’t here forever, and this is free, so you might as well grasp the opportunities.”