• Jay Plemmons

Jessa Gump: Advanced classes, Chorus, and Friendships




After a long day, the last thing she wants to do is trigonometry homework. So instead she listens to music and spends time alone, decompressing after a long, tiring school day. Her homework can come after, mental health is more important.


Jessa Gump is a ninth-grader who’s already taken Biology and Algebra II. On top of that, she’s in trigonometry. Next year she’s going to be taking many advanced classes, including Advanced Chorus, Earth Science Honors, and more. While taking many difficult classes, she still juggles her chorus class and friendships.


Since she takes these classes, she struggles but gets through it, understanding that working hard will make her better.


“The pressure of being so young in trig, I feel as if I have to be top in my class to prove myself and my placement in that class. Also making the time in my schedule to do the work and put forth my best effort because once I get home after a day of school my motivation drops significantly versus actually being in the classroom when I have the time and mindset to complete my work,” she said.


She makes sure her mental health comes first. If she thinks that she’s not ready to do the assignment, she will wait until she is, and that helps her.


“At home, about 30% of my actual home time goes into assignments when I am all caught up,” Gump says.


Even though she’s taking high math, she doesn’t recommend it for everyone.


“Honestly, I feel like it all depends on what you as the student can handle and what you plan to do with your future. Not everyone plans on being a doctor or lawyer, so maybe taking higher maths is not in that student's best interest,” she says.


She has goals in her life. Depending on what she goes through with, she’ll need high-level math.


She has three options for colleges: William and Mary, UVA, or ODU.


On the topic of her career, she hasn’t quite decided yet.


“For the money, I would do dentistry, but my passion-based dream is a career in music,” Gump says.


Her motivation is to rise to the top. “In my family, I will be the first person to go to college and fully graduate, so my drive to be the first in my family is very good motivation.”


She also says she makes sure to do her honors homework first.


“I spend more time and energy on it to make sure it’s complete.”


Even though she spends a lot of time doing her homework, all of her friends can agree that she’s a great friend. She’s fun to be around, kind, and will help you if you need it.


“She always helps me with my math when I need it and she’s just overall a really great friend,” friend from chorus Kiley Donelson said. “She never lets other people's thoughts or opinions get in the way of something she’s passionate about.”


Jessa Gump always makes sure to push herself. She sets standards for her friends which helps them with their school work also. She likes to branch out, taking classes she wouldn’t normally take.


“It’s better to immerse yourself in many types of classes because you can possibly find hobbies, new passions, and friends while doing something new.”




Photo: Adeline Plemmons