The official student news site of Algonquin Regional High School in Northborough, MA

THE ALGONQUIN HARBINGER

The official student news site of Algonquin Regional High School in Northborough, MA

THE ALGONQUIN HARBINGER

The official student news site of Algonquin Regional High School in Northborough, MA

THE ALGONQUIN HARBINGER

Polls

What are your plans for February break?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Prioritize your passions over your resume

Opinion+Editor+Jeffrey+Dratch+discusses+the+benefits+students+can+find+when+focusing+on+activities+that+make+them+most+fulfilled.
Caroline Lou
Opinion Editor Jeffrey Dratch discusses the benefits students can find when focusing on activities that make them most fulfilled.

Walking around the activities extravaganza taking place every September, there are rows of tables filled with Algonquin’s many clubs, and sign up sheets at each table gain a laundry list of new members. These organizations may seem like incredible opportunities and the overwhelming numbers of people who sign up to participate may, at first, make it seem that our school is filled with exceptionally engaged students. However, many students choose to participate in an overwhelming amount of extracurriculars to boost their resume and compete with others rather than prioritizing a few that they are truly passionate about and doing an activity because they truly enjoy it. 

If we stop and take a look at not only these long lists of new members but also at ourselves and the long lists of activities many of us participate in, Algonquin seems to suffer from a case of overinvolvement—participation in cocurricular activities that result in academic, social or physical challenges. In short, we do too much and stretch ourselves too thin.

Yes, there are students who participate in clubs and sports simply because they are passionate about that particular activity; however, there is also a large number of students who simply feel like they need to fill up spots for activities on their college application. In many cases, students are participating in activities they get no enjoyment out of. They are thinking not of the present, not of what they can give or what they may gain in terms of personal growth or fun. Students are overly fixated on the future and making college applications as competitive as possible. This urge to over involve oneself is due to pressures within our school, and pressures we’re putting on ourselves. 

Algonquin is a top performing high school, with the overwhelming majority of the student body bound for some form of college education. It is next to impossible to be surrounded by fellow students who are all considering how to build up their college application and not feel a need to do the same. It’s hard to not feel pressured to participate in as many activities as possible, and only think about the present instead of the future. 

However, many times, when someone spreads themselves too thin, the opposite effect of benefitting the application happens. When limited time is so taken up by the activities, less time is available to focus on studying and completing homework. Grades suffer, stress rises and sleep along with physical and emotional well-being suffer, too. 

I am guilty of overinvolvement and have suffered the consequences. Taking a rigorous course schedule while involved in sports and in many clubs did take a toll on my grades at one point. Grades aren’t even the most important thing suffering; happiness is. Something truly does have to give; if it’s not grades or extracurriculars, it could end up being mental and physical health. 

An NYU study found that stress levels for students at top high schools similar to Algonquin are at an all time high, as academic and social pressures on students continue to rise. Participating in clubs and sports may seem like a great way to get involved and build up a college resume at first, but so many other areas can eventually suffer.

So what do we do about it? Simply stop and reevaluate what you’re doing and why. Take an honest look at your schedule and what motivated you to fill it the way you did. If you’re doing an activity not because it brings you joy and not because it helps others but simply because you think it will make your college application stronger, stop doing that activity. Make more room for those who truly have a passion for it. Make more room in your own life for what you truly have a passion for. Yes, having access to extracurricular activities is an incredible privilege. However, you can control how burnt out you are. Instead of doing it all, consider igniting your passion for one or two things, and focus on those and your happiness in the present.

Leave a Comment
Donate to THE ALGONQUIN HARBINGER
$1240
$1500
Contributed
Our Goal

A donation of $40 or more includes a subscription to the 2023-24 print issues of The Harbinger. We will mail a copy of our fall, winter, spring and graduation issues to the recipient of your choice. Your donation supports the student journalists of Algonquin Regional High School and allows our extracurricular publication to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
About the Contributors
Jeffrey Dratch, Opinion Editor
Jeffrey started writing for The Harbinger during freshman year after taking journalism class. After writing his first article in class, Jeffrey loved the process of crafting an article from start to finish, and is currently an Opinion Editor. Jeffrey loves Opinion because he gets to shed light to topics that don’t normally get discussed across the school community. Outside of The Harbinger, Jeffrey loves to ski, go to Trader Joe’s and listen to Lana Del Rey.
Caroline Lou, Graphic Artist
Donate to THE ALGONQUIN HARBINGER
$1240
$1500
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All THE ALGONQUIN HARBINGER Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *