The schedule of an average student begins at 8:20 AM and ends at 3:30 PM.
For those who participate in extracurriculars, however, that schedule may look very different.
Depending on what season it is, you may see athletes pulling into the parking lot as early as 6 AM. By 7:45 AM, many classrooms are wide awake with club meetings in full swing.
After the last bell of the day rings at 3:30, most students go straight to the buses or their cars. Others, however, may be heading to the practice field or to prepare for their next academic competition.
When you ask them to make plans before or after school, their responses may often be, “I can’t, I have practice.”
These students, many of whom take part in various different extracurriculars, appear to have schedules that are constantly packed.
So how do they manage all of their activities in addition to their schoolwork?
“I feel like you just have to learn how to balance your time,” said junior Ashley Spina, who is a member of the girl’s soccer team as well as DECA.
Spina, who goes to soccer practice every day during the season, considers herself to be adept at managing her time.
“I think I’m good at time management, but I still procrastinate sometimes,” she said.
For many of these students, they often struggle to find the time to maintain their grades on top of time-consuming extracurricular activities.
“I like to deny that it would negatively affect my grades, but it honestly does a little bit,” said sophomore Shir Halfon, who takes part in multiple academic clubs and works a job as a tutor.
Halfon claims that later on in the school year when most clubs have concluded regular meetings and competition seasons are largely over, her grades improve.
“At this point in the year, when most of my clubs are done, my grades go up,” she said.
For others, the problem may not be finding time to complete work, but finding time to complete work well.
“My grades don’t really change during the season,” said junior Liz Seymour, who is a member of the softball team in addition to a job that she works four times a week.
However, she says “the quality of [her] work isn’t as good” due to there being less time in her schedule for homework and studying throughout the duration of the season.
This struggle can be real for many students, especially when considering that many of these activities require them to miss class for competitions and games.
“When it comes to doing my work, I can manage myself properly,” said Halfon. “It’s just with the tournaments and club meetings that it gets hard.”
Students like Halfon who take part in multiple competitive events, she said, must often “choose between [competitions].”