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Walking the balance: High school students and teacher share advice on balancing school, work, activities

Samantha Wilcox
Michael Webb (11) passes a soccer ball down the field. Webb not only participated in soccer, but also knowledge bowl, robotics, and track. (Samantha Wilcox)

Many students participate in some sort of after-school activity or club, and some students work several hours per week as well. It’s difficult to balance getting good grades at school, participating in extracurricular activities and working outside of school, but some students manage it brilliantly. 

Michael Webb (11) is one of these students. A varsity soccer player and track runner, as well as a member of the Knowledge Bowl and robotics teams, he manages to find a way to do it all while keeping on top of his schoolwork. 

“I do a lot of schoolwork in the morning and during classes so I don’t have homework, it’s more of extra classwork or really small homework. And I just found that I need to make sure I get it done in the morning and do it as fast and efficient as possible,” Webb said.

While soccer is in the fall and track is in the spring, Knowledge Bowl meets all throughout fall, winter and into early spring; robotics meets during the winter. Webb also participates in winter track, which has indoor meets all throughout the season. 

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Webb’s key to balancing it all? “It comes down to prioritization. So, during the season I would prioritize soccer over everything, or track over everything, and Knowledge Bowl usually takes preference over robotics, unless we have a competition. So it just comes down to: I know I’m going to have to miss something, and so what am I going to miss?”

Madelynn Alexander (11) has similar advice. “Just don’t procrastinate on any of your schoolwork, because you should prioritize that above everything else,” she said. 

Alexander participates in marching band, winter percussion, technical theatre, pit for the musical and choir. Although she engages in different activities than Webb, her schedule is equally full and busy. 

Madelynn Alexander (11) practices drums while in marching band rehearsal. Alexander also participates in choir, technical theatre, winter percussion and pit for the musical. (Lauren Huntsman)

Like Webb, she does most of her schoolwork at school so she can have time outside of school for herself. 

“I feel like I do so much during the school day that on the weekends and after rehearsals and stuff I’m pretty much free. So it’s nice that I can still hang out with my friends,” Alexander said.

A Spanish teacher at WHS and volunteer softball coach, Sandi Cumings (staff) also has much on her plate between grading students’ work, planning lessons and teaching at school, coaching softball practices and running a small business. Cumings is also a mother in addition to these jobs, which further complicates her schedule, but she is able to work with it.

“I try to not do school stuff at home during those busy times just because I don’t get home as much. But the girls, you know, had cross country at the same time I was at softball, and so did Landon at the middle school, so it kind of worked out that we were all gone, and then kind of got to be home together at the same time,” Cumings said.

All three of these people have different activities, schedules and lives, but there is one thing that keeps them glued to their separate activities: the people. 

“I like hanging out with them and, softball — I love softball. I played softball in college, you know, my whole life. And I was the varsity coach here for twelve years, so, it was, it’s just something I love and I like to hang out with the girls and watch them excel at that,” Cumings said. 

As a part of several clubs, Webb has the opportunity to interact with many groups of people. “I meet a lot of different people, and it’s fun to see how I can encourage these people to join my clubs and share the same fun and enlightenment on how good these clubs are,” Webb said. 

Alexander shares a passion for her activities and for the people that join her there. “I’ve always loved it (the activities) so much, and all of the things that I do bring me so much joy, and I feel like I wouldn’t switch it for the world,” she said. “I meet so many different types of people and I make a lot of friends through it.”

While it’s hard to find a balance between working, schoolwork, activities and sports, there’s one thing that keeps people engaged in them: passion. Whether that be for peers, students, teaching or the activity itself, passion is a universal and uniting factor that keeps busy students and teachers focused and happy.

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About the Contributor
Claire Boyer
Claire Boyer, Reporter
Claire Boyer is a junior at Windsor High School, a varsity long distance runner in cross country and track, the costumes lead in the school musical and an avid reader and writer. She hopes to persue degrees in literature and biology in the future.
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