There are seven words that seem to appear in defense of nearly every class, extracurricular and other activity a high school student does throughout their four years: “It looks good on a college application!”
Whenever these words appear in high school, most college-bound students find themselves drawn to join an organization without pausing to truly consider the responsibility such an obligation demands. Alternatively, some students do consider the high demands of such activities but simply join regardless, hoping to perhaps better appeal to their dream college through stellar applications. Still, many high school students often find themselves pulled between countless responsibilities in a limited amount of time, resulting in a high and unneeded amount of stress.
Destiny Eisenhour, a junior at Northeastern High School is no newcomer to the stress of high school. Since her freshman year, Eisenhour has been taking honors and other advanced courses as well as being involved with numerous extracurricular obligations.
For the fall semester, Eisenhour is enrolled in applied music, health, honors chemistry, AP Environmental Science and AP Language and Composition.
Her hardest class is her AP Language course, says Eisenhour. “It is a year-round course, which I like. I do really like English and having it year-round really spreads out the workload. I get less work at a time but it is still a really stressful class because it is an AP.”
In addition to her classes, Eisenhour is also involved in a number of extracurriculars including marching band, concert band, orchestra, brass choir, jazz band, quiz bowl, Envirothon, student government, Future Business Leaders of America, book club, art and literature magazine and a peer tutoring program. She is also the student secretary of her class.
Marching time consumes the majority of her time among her extracurriculars. “I’m at marching band anywhere from 14 to 20 hours a week,” states Eisenhour.
Eisenhour also works part-time at a local pizzeria, Angelo’s Pizza. “I work a twenty hour week. Six of my hours are during the school week and then fourteen more during the weekend,” says Eisenhour. “It’s not too bad though; I can do most of my homework when work is slow.”
So how do students manage it all?
Kayli Rentzel, a Northeastern junior in dual enrollment at both the high school and the Penn State York college campus, states that she tries to work ahead and get everything done in advance for her classes. “I try to use all my time wisely,” says Rentzel. “If I have extra time in class, I’ll work on my homework. When I’m not at college, I go to the school library to work with no distractions.”
It is also important to focus in class to make work outside of school easier. “I pay attention to the professors and make sure my notes are simple and in my own words so I can understand them,” says Rentzel. “Outside of class, I make flash cards from my notes to study.”
Eisenhour recommends a “rest day,” a day of the week dedicated to relaxation from an otherwise strenuous schedule. For Eisenhour, Wednesdays are the day when she can just simply relax with no extracurriculars and usually minimal homework. “Without Wednesdays, I’d be a train wreck,” she laughs.