Extra-Curricular Activities and their Impact on School

As if the homework and study time isn’t enough for students, almost all high-schoolers participate in extra-curricular activities. These occupations differ in levels of obligation, ranging from a brief monthly get-togethers (German club) to tedious, four-hour rehearsals that take place on a daily basis (theater). Regardless of commitment level, one must adjust his/her plan for schoolwork in order to compensate for the time that a given activity takes up.

Sophomore Mitchell Hayes squeezes a considerable amount into his life outside of school. As of April 25, 2016, Hayes was in Nashville, Tennessee, competing in DECA Internationals. As if DECA isn’t enough, Hayes participated in other academic activities, including the A.H. Nickless Innovation Competition and the Engineering Scholars Program at Michigan Technological University.  On top of that, Hayes spends “approximately six hours per week in the offseason and 16 hours a week during the season” playing basketball at a varsity level.

Hayes says that his extra-curricular activities do, in fact, impact his work.

“My grades aren’t impacted, but the effort I have to commit to finishing work is increased because of these activities,” Hayes said.

When asked to rate his time management skills on a scale ranging from one to ten, Hayes gave himself an 8.5, citing phone distractions as his weakness.

Sophomore Duncan Donahue stays busy outside of school as well. Donahue takes part in Student Union, Model United Nations, Michigan Youth in Government, and is on the DHS debate team that placed second in the state this school year.

“The largest time commitment is debate, which is roughly six or seven weekends and 10-15 hours per week during the fall and early winter,” Donahue said. “During the offseason I spend roughly three hours per week on average cutting evidence and preparing for the next year.”

Donahue notices that his extra-curricular events take a toll on his schoolwork, though it doesn’t change the final letter grades.

“I can definitely tell a difference in the percentages based on first versus second semester because of debate in the fall,” Donahue said.

In order to balance school with outside events efficiently, a considerable amount of discipline must be displayed. In a high school atmosphere where countless distractions- phones, parties, significant others- tempt students to let their schoolwork slip, one must resist the urge to allow grades to fall. This is not to say that having a boyfriend is outlawed, or that going to a party will lead to a GPA collapse. It simply means that one must manage their time wisely in order to maintain desirable grades, as both Hayes and Donahue seem to accomplish.

By: Ben Zeitler

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