How Much is Too Much?

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Corinne Neustadter

Today, students are consumed by the never-ending barrage of extracurricular activities, academics, and job commitments. Clubs, sports, and volunteering have become weekly commitments; some, such as athletic activities and music programs, require students to participate on a daily basis. Having a well-rounded high school experience is seen as essential for a strong college application, but at what point do extracurricular activities do more harm than good?

At Legacy, students have the opportunity to join over 30 clubs, including the Lightning Letter. However, these activities have a wide range of time commitments. Many are after-school clubs which meet once per week, but others, such as the marching band program, require students to take band class during the day, and have a multitude of practices during marching band season. Other activities, such as student government and choir, also require outside involvement, through events and concerts, respectively.

For some students, their days may consist entirely of school, homework, extracurricular activities, and sleep (“NYU Study…”). High school students are particularly under duress due to the large amounts of homework they experience, and because of the rush for college applications.

While involvement is important, psychoanalyst Laurie Hollman notes, “parents are often swayed into believing that to get into a good college, your kids have to have a broad range of activities that they participated in. Yet, actually the universities look for specialized interests where kids demonstrate a consistent, persevering attitude toward achieving in an outstanding way. One or two remarkable accomplishments far exceeds the bits of involvement in many activities” (Hollman).

With school and extracurriculars, student stress can often build up with little outlet. Since every student is different, this can be a delicate balance. Before considering that new club or extra class, take a minute to consider your schedule and involvements.