NEWS/FEATURES, Grades 7–9, Honorable Mention
A lot of high school students have very busy schedules because of things like clubs, sports, working or even other activities outside of school.
It can be very hard to have a flexible schedule with all of the commitments at this age. There are times when it can get overwhelming and stress people out; because they are committed to so much, they cannot fit it all in at once. Having to leave a practice early for a meeting or missing a club activity for work can make it not enjoyable to participate in things after time goes by because you are not getting everything you want out of it.
Everyone, especially including high school students, should participate in activities outside of school. Whether or not it’s a sport, a club, or something else you enjoy doing, everyone should have something. Before going out for everything you should see what you like and what’s worth it. You should also pay attention to what boss, advisor, or coach can be flexible with a busy schedule to reduce the stress of missing out on something. A lot of kids also participate in activities that involve getting up early in the morning to go to school. The problem with that, though, is the night before they were up really late doing work for school. A perfect example is Brooke Ross from the article by Sue Shellenbarger in the Wall Street Journal, “Step away from your over-scheduled high school student.”
As a high school sophomore, to satisfy competing demands from authority figures she respected, she played on two volleyball teams and studied competitive Irish dance, which she had done since age 4. Her daily high school volleyball practices sometimes clashed with dance practice. After-school junior varsity volleyball games three times a week required her to attend freshmen and varsity games as well. That kept her out past 9 p.m., pushing homework time as late as 11:30 p.m., said her mother, Susan. Eventually, Brooke had to drop Irish dance and club volleyball to prevent her from being tearful and exhausted. She learned to try to focus on trying to study for tough junior-year classes, while playing on one volleyball team and working part-time on Saturdays, even though she missed all her other activities.
Overscheduling can lead to kids being constantly overworked and tired. It just gets to a point where you cannot juggle everything, so you have to limit your time for yourself and try to do things that make you happy instead of doing so many things to the point you are stressed out.