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The Biology Insider: Juniors’ Advice to Sophomores

Updated: Aug 30, 2022

Written by Hannah Duffee

For many juniors, coming into the 2021-22 school year was a tough transition. Online schooling deteriorated many students' mental health as isolation and stress conflicted with overall wellness. Furthermore, students faced even more hardships upon returning to in-person schooling. Juniors, especially, found themselves pulled into another year of difficult classes and a world full of stress. As many SOAR students know, Biology proved itself to be a challenging class within the first few weeks back at school.

“I felt like it was more rigorous than I was expecting,” Current junior Elizabeth Quinteros said about her initial reaction to the class, “It required a lot more studying and effort but it’s interesting to learn about.”

The Class of 2023 has been a part of an “experiment” so to say. While many freshmen entering high school throughout the Antelope Valley would take Biology their first year of high school, SOAR students instead took Conceptual Physics. The idea behind this is that students would receive a foundational understanding of basic science and mathematical concepts. Therefore, the Class of 2023 began with Conceptual Physics in freshman year, then Chemistry as sophomores, and finally Biology as juniors.

When asked if he thought this unique order of taking science classes was beneficial, Nathan Ballesteros explained, “I believe that there are crossovers between the subjects but the teachers presented it independently in their teaching methods. Coming into Biology I feel like my prior knowledge, as well as the crossover between subjects, was little to none because of this.”

A regular day in Biology might include completing a warmup, taking notes, drawing pictures, watching videos, or completing labs. Aaliyah Bridewell and Angelina Mora both remember their favorite part of the class so far.

“I love all of the labs we get to do,” Aaliyah exclaimed, “My favorite was the Properties of Water Lab.” Angelina, though, stated that her favorite part of the class was the unit on the chemistry of life.

So, why then, if the topics seem enjoyable to most and the regular day-to-day activities are engaging, is Biology getting the rep of such a rigorous class?

The truth is that the class has an unusually large amount of homework and studying hours attached to it. Furthermore, the end-of-unit tests also carry with them a lot of stress for the students.

“My best advice would be to take the time out of your day and study the concepts you're learning about outside of school. Do your work and then follow up with your research. Do more than what’s expected of you and you’ll do well in the class,” Yahany Francisco stated.

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