With so many different clubs, teams and extracurriculars to choose from, it’s very hard for high schoolers to stick to just a few activities per week. Not to mention that students have to find time to balance schoolwork amongst all of these activities. Overburdening student’s schedule leads to students being forced to either drop the clubs and activities they are apart of or them not showing up for them. Since Hewitt is such a small school with so many opportunities for students to take advantage of, it’s very easy for high schoolers to take on more than they can handle. However, many students may be taking on more than they can handle on purpose to load up their college resume. The issue of commitment to clubs and other extracurriculars is not new and I wanted to explore student’s opinions on this issue as well as try to pose a possible solution.
We are told that high school is a time to explore your interests, take risks, and find what you are passionate about. I went into the club fair freshman year with this mindset and ended up walking out having signed up for upward of ten clubs. After two weeks of suffering through a jam-packed schedule, I finally relented and cut out the clubs and extracurriculars I did not feel passionate about. After three years of high school, I have managed to figure out what extracurriculars I am the most devoted too and can be committed to coming to every week while still leaving enough time in my schedule for schoolwork, homework, relaxing, etc.. However, many high schoolers, particularly freshmen and sophomores, are still struggling to accept the fact that they simply cannot do everything.
Aside from having overbooked schedules, one of the reasons students could be missing club meetings or not doing the outside work for that club is because they simply don’t want to. Since most clubs at Hewitt are student lead, it is very hard for club leaders to reprimand other students for not showing up to a club or activity. Since students know there likely won’t be consequences for doing this they think it is acceptable. Maddie-Kate ‘18, who is the head of Animal Rights club and Hawks TV said, ”I feel really disrespected when people don’t show up to the clubs I am the head of me feel like they don’t care. If you sign up for a club it should be something you enjoy so coming to the club and doing work outside of the club does not feel like excess homework.” What many students fail to see is that taking part in extracurriculars is something that should be enjoyable and instead are only doing them to put on their resume. Coco M. ‘20 as a freshman signed up for six clubs and she said,”Although I really wanted to attend all my clubs, I could not possibly find the time. I felt bad every time I missed a club period but I did not realize it was a serious offense. However, In sophomore year I made the decision to cut out three clubs making my schedule more manageable.”
Although usually after a year in the upper school students figure out how to manage their time and only sign up for the clubs they attend, there should be a solution for the lack of club attendance that still occurs. A solution could be to taking attendance at every club meeting and if students miss a certain amount of times Mr. Sarmiento will not allow you to put it on your college resume. This would not only bring up club attendances but would also ensure students were not just signing up for clubs and extracurriculars for the benefit of showing colleges that they are involved in the school community. It is important to remember when living lives as busy as the average high schooler to make time for yourself and not to stretch oneself so thin amongst schoolwork and extracurriculars.
When students are unable to attend co-curriculars due to other obligations or lack of commitment it not only reflects badly on them but leads to the heads of these things feeling disrespected. Overall, the issue of students overburdening their schedules with too many clubs and co-curriculars or a lack of commitment to these things is not a new occurrence and students and administration are looking to put policies in place to prevent this issue.
Many students start off highschool feeling overwhelmed by the number of clubs and extracurriculars Hewitt has to offer so ultimately they end up signing up for everything they are interested in.