A Taste of Junior Year This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

October 7, 2009
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There's a feel to the days here, a definite groove. Most of the time it's like the taste of chewing gum you've kept too long, and now it's liquified and has an ashy taste. Yeah, that's how I'd sum up school right about now. I'm sitting here, wondering if that's how all my fellow Juniors feel. Like this school is gum that we've just chewed on too long but just aren't ready to spit out yet. I think so.

The flavor has faded, lost at the end of freshman year, the charm and illusions of grandeur dissolved. We've been to homecoming, gone through all the giddy excitement of buying our first dress of our high school careers. Moved into full sized lockers that can actually hold our backpack, coat, textbooks, and lunch all at the same time. Enjoyed the privileges of using the main stairwell as often as we pleased, and griped about the amount of homework we weren't ready for.

Still happily chewing away though, we enjoyed the solidly elastic feel of that piece of gum through our sophomore year. So overjoyed by the fact that we were no longer freshman, we didn't mind the lack of flavor. New lockers were assigned, harder classes were struggled through, but we buckled down and kept on chewing. Now though, merely a four weeks into Junior year, we discover that all good things come to an end.

That piece of gum has long since lost its flavor, the elasticity is gone, and all we're left with is a gray, lumpy piece of bubble gum. This isn't all that dismal, though, because now I feel like most of my fellow juniors are starting to look forward to that next stick of gum. We're wondering if our senior year will have the flavor of our freshman one and are probably planning on savoring it.

A few others though, are ready for a brand new flavor. A new brand so to speak. But my god, the choices! Bubble gum, mint, cherry, lemonade, sugar free, ball, stick, shreds, tape... it can be a bit overwhelming! Whatever we choose, will we like it? Will that flavor last? Make us break out in hives? Will the manufacturer even accept us? I know that's what I'm wondering as I move this lump that has the viscosity of silly putty around my mouth. I've noticed a few others doing to same thing, sitting there idly at their computers. I close out of my browser, saving the link to yet another college I'm looking into attending. I smile at the freshmen talking avidly about their homecoming dresses, and one of them pops a bright pink bubble with her gum. In the back of my mind I can't help but smile and hope that she's chewing long-lasting Stride rather than my bland old Trident.

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