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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UC Berkeley chapter.

College, for most people, ends up being four years. Each of these four years supposedly has a purpose, a designation for why they exist.

Think about it– freshman year is your introduction to college, the time when you’re away from home and experiencing everything for the first time. During sophomore year, you’re a little less doe-eyed, but you’re navigating living on your own in an apartment. You’re growing, changing, and learning while applying the lessons freshman year taught you. Senior year is your last hurrah. You’re focused on crossing everything off your bucket list with your best friends by your side before you graduate.

However, where does that leave junior year? What is it for? What purpose does it serve? 

This is a question I’ve been thinking about a lot this year. Quite frankly, I feel lost. I grew so much from my experiences during my freshman and sophomore years, but as a junior, I’m unsure of the road ahead. By this point, I thought I’d have most things figured out, but I feel as if the opposite is true. I’m questioning everything I knew, from my former solidified career path to my relationships with people. Is it just me? Or is junior year not as stable and solid as people think? 

For some reason, instead of moving gracefully along my timeline, I feel as if I’m sliding backwards during junior year, unable to find motivation for things like classes and events. Have my previous years at Berkeley worn me out? Or is it normal to have such long lulls? Sophomore year had high highs and low lows for me, but junior year seems cloudy. I don’t see highs or lows; I just see a blur. Before, I was excited about the year ahead and what it had to bring, and now I’m worried it won’t be as fruitful as I’d previously hoped. 

Maybe a more calm, boring season isn’t something to frown about.

Although I’m unsure of the reasons for my uncertain and numbed feelings, I do know that life has many seasons. Maybe a more calm, boring season isn’t something to frown about. Maybe junior year has its own special charm that I haven’t seen yet. I certainly hope that’s the case. 

If you feel the same way, I hope this article shows you that you’re not alone. Life might feel different or more confusing than usual, but that doesn’t mean it will stay that way! As of right now, I can’t give a definitive answer as to junior year’s purpose, but I hope that by the end of the year, I can return with an article encapsulating why junior year is necessary, filled with sparkling jewels from my experiences this year. 

Nikita Jethani

UC Berkeley '25

Nikita is a junior at UC Berkeley, studying political science and journalism. When she's not writing, she spends her time going to concerts, baking, reading contemporary romance, and frequenting new cafes.