Extracurriculars or extra stress?


Photo provided by Simon Fagade

Lia Blackard, Online Editor

Many students at Reynolds High School participate in extracurriculars. Balancing school with sports, clubs, and jobs can be a very difficult task. It may seem as though virtual school would help make these responsibilities become easier to manage, but it has only made it more difficult. 

I think that in person was easier because I had time in class to do most of my work and I could always ask a teacher for help or friends in class,” junior Olivia Kühner said. “ Now, there’s no one to ask during asynchronous time, especially if you don’t have anyone’s number in your class. There was also a more set schedule, so it was much easier to plan for and manage everything.”

Photo provided by Olivia Kühner

Kühner is a varsity basketball and soccer player for the Demons. She also tutors Math II students a few times a week. She finds it challenging to stay on top of her school work while practicing in many different activities, but Kühner has found ways to balance everything. 

I try to do my work the day it’s assigned and get it over with, or save it for a flex Friday when I have more time,” Kühner said. “I have to plan for the week ahead and figure out when is the best time to do work and still get to practices on time. It’s a little overwhelming but it works.”

Junior Simon Fagade is an employee at Papa John’s Pizza and plays lacrosse and football for Reynolds. He has also found himself struggling to keep up with his school work while playing sports and working. 

“I am behind in school partly due to the intense workload I have right now and my terrible procrastination habit,” Fagade said. “It’s been intense oftentimes I sacrifice the time I spend on one thing to spend it on another but with school as my main priority.”

Kühner plans to take both the SAT and ACT this school year. Preparing for the exams will make balancing extracurriculars more difficult but she plans to wait until after soccer season or during Christmas break to take them.

Photo provided by Olivia Kühner

I took the SAT for the first time during the first two weeks of school when there weren’t as many sports or other activities yet,” Kühner said. “I plan to take it again, as well as the ACT, and I will probably wait until club soccer ends in order to make sure I’m prepared. Test dates on the weekend’s are easiest to plan for and I might even take one of the tests over Christmas break.”

Fagade plans on only taking the ACT. He does not feel as though the test will interfere with his already intense schedule. 

“Well I don’t believe it’s a test that requires an immense amount of preparation,” Fagade said. “This test should fit right in my schedule.”

Although Fagade and Kühner have both felt overwhelmed with their schedules, as have many other students at Reynolds, they have found ways to make it work. However, it does help when teachers inform students their assignments in advance. 

“I really appreciate it when teachers give out work like a week in advance, or if there is a set schedule of what will be due,” Kühner said. “It gives me plenty of time to plan ahead for it, instead of trying to cram in at night after soccer.”

Photo provided by Simon Fagade

Fagade has advice for any students who may be struggling to balance school with sports, work and their social lives. 

“I would simply prioritize better,” Fagade said. “Determine what’s actually important to you and will help benefit you. If you have a poor procrastination habit like mine, take steps to remedy that.”

Kühner also has some suggestions for more efficient time management.

I would suggest giving yourself an hour for planned work and a second hour for unplanned work every day,” Kühner said. “Making a schedule has really helped me stay on top of things. Taking small breaks when I can help too.”

Photo provided by Olivia Kühner

These are some solutions other students may find helpful. Managing extracurriculars can be a daunting task but with the right skills, it can be much easier. If students still find themselves struggling, don’t hesitate to reach out to teachers for support.