How to balance academics and club activities


The 2016-2017 RHS Green Club. Photo courtesy of George Sweda.

Gloria Baldevia, Staff Writer

Every day, students go to school with a mindset of having an unforgettable high school experience. From academics to sports to clubs, some students are doing whatever they can to get as involved as possible.  Although joining a lot of extracurricular activities in school and being involved in clubs can help you maximize your high school experience, these responsibilities can demand a lot of time from you. In this regard, balancing your time can be one of toughest challenges that a student can face on his or her own journey in high school.

Clubs are an important part of a student’s life. They expand students’ social circles by introducing them to new people who have similar interests. Sophomore Alyssa Winterhalder thinks joining clubs can be helpful for making new friends, but feels that sometimes clubs can affect academics, making it important to manage time wisely.

“I think it’s important to balance your time,” Winterhalder said. “We need to be able to be part of multiple things for like all in our own comfort zone and our time that we can balance it out.”

Winterhalder is only one of the many students in the school who also think that it is essential to know the importance of balancing your time.  And for others to know how to spend their time wisely, here are only some of the countless ways students can make sure that they are balancing their time.

Don’t over commit yourself.

Saying yes to everything might seem like a good thing for students who are aiming for a high GPA and looking for a good college to attend, but sometimes they just end up choking from an overload of activities and commitments.  Some students are doing more than three clubs and still join sports, and they have a hard time balancing their responsibilities in clubs and their homework and tests.

But the trick here is don’t try to join so many clubs that you end up not doing your responsibilities because you are uninterested in doing it.  Same for some elective classes. Don’t choose classes that you know you can’t do or you don’t like.  Clubs are there for you to have fun and learn.  And if you are not enthusiastic about doing your part, don’t join the club.

According to Green Club Adviser Mr. Brandon Shurter, some students have many extra-curricular activities on their plate, but they are wise enough to know how to balance their time because it is something they are interested in doing, and so, it is not difficult for them to do their club responsibilities and academic performance.

“Most [students] balance their time correctly,” Mr. Shurter said. “An after school club can be a safe place that students look forward to.”

Make a schedule.

Planners have been a big trend for years, and for good reason. Planners help students be more organized and to know the activities they need to do each day.  This is a good way to keep up with your activities and to know what you should do next.  It will help you clear your mind about not missing anything that you should have done.  

Freshman Sarah Letterman shared that she makes sure that she is doing her club assignments and homework according to the schedule that she sets in order not to mix everything up and in a way that will make her work easier.

“I usually balance my time with doing marching things in the morning and balancing my time by doing homework right when I get home so I don’t have to deal with it later,” Letterman said. “It makes things more scheduled so it’s easier to get things done without getting stressed or forgetting something.”

Choose wisely.

The more the merrier, right? Not necessarily. Avoid joining more clubs than you can realistically handle. It will only drain your energy. Just choose two or three clubs that you are sure can benefit you and make you a better individual.  There are a lot of clubs in the school that appeal to a variety of interests.

Mr.Shurter sponsors Green Club for students who are interested in protecting and making Earth a more beautiful place, and he believes that it will also be good for college applications.

“I help them learn teamwork, hard work, accountability, social skills, and leadership skills,” Mr. Shurter said. “Students learn how they impact Earth and how we can help by caring and doing their part.”


Knowing where your priorities like can help you succeed in your goals.  For some, clubs are ways for students to do what they love and suffice their interests.  But for others, academics are more important.  Whatever it is that you are putting on top of the other, just make sure that it won’t affect each other negatively.

Make sure that every moment of free time counts. You could do other homework that you have when you are on break, or even during lunch. 

“Whenever I have free time like during the club like in theater, we have free time when other people are doing stuff and I try to do on my work when I’m there,” said Winterhalder.

Don’t Hesitate to ask for Help

Being in an organization helps you gain more personal connections with other people.  With this, you can meet a lot of friends who can help you when you are stuck or having difficulties in an assignment or project.

In addition, advisers are always there to help you when you are struggling about something.  Don’t hesitate to ask them for consideration when you won’t be able to finish something on time because you also have other commitments in other clubs or school works.

Believing that clubs safeguard and promote their members interests, Winterhalder feels that everyone in the organization can help you a lot when you are in need, especially the teachers.

“If we need more time, we can tell them [advisers] and like give us time to do it instead of like making us work on the assignment,” Winterhalder said.

Making sure that you have time for everything can help your journey in high school easier. Aside from the fact that you can do good in your academic performance, you will also have enough time to spend for yourself and family. Nothing can’t be done if you see the positive side of everything.  Balancing your time is a single step that can lead you to the stairs of success.  Whether it may be in your own ideas of how to do it, or just simply your dedication to make everything work,  Mr. Shurter believes that you can surf through the waves of high school if you know how to balance your time.

“Balancing your time is very important to maintain a sustainable, healthy, and happy life. Even too much of a good thing can be bad,” Mr. Shurter said. “This ensures you are giving enough time to yourself, your academics, and your family or friends.”