The Fine Line Between Balancing Extracurriculars and Free Time

Kaitlyn Mason | Web Managing Editor


Most students are told to fill up their schedules, to make the most out of their high school career, and to impress future colleges or employers, but for students who seemingly are a member of everything, where do the plans stop? Where do free time and homework fit in?

For senior Michaela DiPalmo, her free time comes on Sundays — her one completely free day of the week. As president of ASCAP, a part-time employee at the YMCA, a member of NHS, and many more extracurriculars, DiPalmo said her schedule is nearly always full.

“I typically make a schedule on my iPhone’s calendar and block off times for each thing of homework I have to do, plus rehearsals or workouts,” said DiPalmo.

Despite the large time commitment, DiPalmo said she loves everything she is involved in, even if it comes with struggles.

“I can stress myself out sometimes, but the end result is always so rewarding — to know that I’ve done the most I can do to make an impact,” said DiPalmo.

Her key to a successful balance of time is being open and honest with her teachers and allowing herself to admit when she needs help.

“If you need [help], talk to your teachers,” said DiPalmo. “All of mine were so willing to help and work with me.”

Junior Sophia Garcia gives the same advice to any students struggling to balance their out of school activities.

“Asking for help from club sponsors or extensions on work from teachers helps,” said Garcia. “Going to guidance can also be really helpful when you feel like you’re drowning.”

Garcia said she tries to help plan out her schedule by making lists and planning what she needs to do at least a week in advance.

“I use alarms on my phone to remind me when to start my homework,” said Garcia. “I also find it helpful to go to sleep early and wake up [earlier] to do homework.”

Being a member of both show choirs, senior Ashley Holman finds herself at practice every day. To help balance practice homework, Holman said she utilizes the study hall she has at school to do her work and forces herself to focus when she can.

“I just make sure I do my work when I have the chance, even if I don’t want to,” said Holman.

With only 15-20 hours of free time during the school week and one weekend day off, Holman admits that she feels the pressure at times.

“I constantly feel overwhelmed, but I absolutely love performing so it’s worth it,” said Holman.

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