The Daily Balancing Act

Paola Hernandez Olvera, Reporter

The idea of school systems can be traced back to ancient Greece, where groups of students regularly met in main learning areas called academies. Fast forward to present day, the school system has changed into a place for more than just academics. Extracurriculars have been integrated into many students’ daily lives and include activities like sports, marching band and honors societies.

According to the United States Census Bureau, 57 percent of children between 6 and 17 years old, participate in at least one after-school extracurricular activity. In other words, nearly six out of 10 children are in extracurriculars.

Junior Reyna Guel is part of that 57 percent and is a drill team member for the Mam’selles with outstanding grades. However, the question still remains: How do students like Guel do it?

“This year is my first year as a Mam’selle, but last year I was in La Petites, which is another drill team,” Guel said. “At the end of last year, there were Mam’selles tryouts, and I made the team, which meant that practices would start really soon for me. Practices started during the summer,  and ever since school started, we practice every day in first period and sometimes after school.”

When involved in extracurriculars, studies prove that these activities help students have a stronger mind. Although academics like reading and mathematics strengthen the mind, extracurricular activities take it even further. Sports or drill teams like the Mam’selles, for example, train students to maintain patience and resilience when facing hardships.

“[The Mam’selles] practice a lot, so after practice I’m always tired,” Guel said. “But it’s a good type of tired, because we know that the next time we practice, we’re going to be a lot stronger than the day before. Well, that and the fact that I get home tired, so by the time I get in bed, I fall asleep and sleep soundly all night, which gives me more energy for the next day.”

Time management is another key factor that students like Guel and Junior Freya Libero, who is in Key Club, United Nations, NG Strong and Ping Pong Club,  must learn. Between schoolwork, the extracurricular activities and responsibilities at home, maintaining balance is an important aspect for multitasking.

“I’m in four different clubs,” Libero said. “Although I also have three AP classes, I like my extracurriculars. [However], I would rather focus on school, as extracurriculars aren’t permanent unlike my GPA.”

Extracurriculars can be a great way to develop social skills. Whether it be to strengthen the mind, learn better time management, learn professional skills, widen a social circle or simply to explore new interests, there’s an extracurricular activity for everyone.

“Mam’selles has really helped me come out of my shell more,” Guel said. “I’m more outgoing and lively than I was before. I feel comfortable talking with the team and just at ease. Being on the team has taught me a lot, and I don’t regret trying out. I love what I do, and I love my team.”