A busy bee’s key to happiness

Marissa Rushton, Opinion Writer

As an eighth grader at Regis Middle School, I took a high school prep course where all my classmates and I were told that in high school, especially at Xavier, you can do and be anything. We were told by Xavier faculty that if we were even a little interested in being involved in an activity, club or sport, we should join it in order to explore our interests. It was made out to be possible and highly encouraged to race and join as many activities as possible. I also remember being very excited to be a part of cheer, Spanish Club, Key Club, Model UN, soccer, choir, golf and more. As I started high school the next fall, I soon realized it was not possible for me to do all of those things in one year. I was too busy, overwhelmed and got behind on some of my homework. Obviously, not all of these activities lasted and I did not even start a few of them due to my free time slowly slipping away from me. As a student, you should not join every activity, even if some may say it is possible. My second grade teacher, Mr. Schroud, used to tell us “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should!” I have resonated with that saying a lot, especially during my freshman year. After still thinking about this memory years later, I have realized that joining and trying to be an active member in each activity had a large strain on not only my physical but also my mental health. Participating in more than one sport in a season can lead to serious injuries and fatigue, leaving you weak and unable to do even just one sport. Coaches and teammates can become annoyed or angered at your lack of presence at practices. They also depend on you getting better in order for the whole team to succeed. For you to discover your own full potential in a sport or activity, you need to give it extra time and attention to reach your peak in skill and enjoyment. Involvement in too many things may decrease your chances at both skill and enjoyment in everything you do. Your mental health could also be at risk by participating in too many time-consuming activities. While you want to go and participate in everything cannot, this can be very disappointing and make you feel as if you are not good enough. Everything takes practice and if you do not give it time, you will may not succeed, making you feel worse about yourself overtime. Another issue you may run into is missing too much school or not having enough free time to do your homework. A lot of activities, especially sports, require that you leave school early; this can often happen frequently. Students have missed multiple periods of the same class from just one sport and feel left behind. Having too much on your plate could put you in a place where you are unable to catch up because of the absence of both free time and time at school. No, I am not implying that you should only focus on one thing all four years of high school. There are a lot of activities that are very flexible and less time consuming. A good balance that I have found common in students is committing to one sport or more time consuming activity like show choir or marching band per season and as many clubs as you can handle. Depending on you, your time frame and your interests, I encourage you to figure out what works best for you physically and mentally and remind you to just be realistic with yourself. Yes, the majority of coaches and supervisors will be a little lenient while considering other Xavier activities but do not overwork yourself. A lot of activities balance well with each other as well. For example, choir, show choir, the musical and the play are all based around similar departments and are usually spaced out throughout the year and have different rehearsal times. The clubs at Xavier go above and beyond because most of them allow you to come when you can or schedule times when you are available. Some examples include Spanish Club and Respect Life Club, which are held during the school day about once a month; Key Club, where you can sign up for exact dates and times to volunteer your hours to the community; Theolotea, which is held every Thursday after school and is open to everyone; and many more. As you can see, Xavier High School, it’s faculty and coaches have made it as easy as possible for students to be very involved in our school but it just has to come down to what your priorities are and what makes you the most happy. Engaging in our school and its activities is one of the best ways to experience high school to the fullest and I highly recommend it. You just have to be careful to not overdo it. These activities were created for the happiness and enjoyment of the student body. They are not meant to be an added stress to your life.