Clock Is Ticking

Freshman learns to balance academic schedule, extracurricular activities


Photo Submitted By Haley Hughes

Freshman Haley Hughes steps up to the plate at the softball game Sept. 20 at Oakville High School. “…It (softball) puts you in the mindset for having a team,” Hughes said. Hughes said that softball is her favorite sport because it is the main one she plays.

High school looks different for every student. Some students take an advanced class here and there, some do theater, some play sports and some do a combination of multiple different activities and classes. Sometimes, though, the load can get hard to bear. 

Taking all honors classes and playing four sports, freshman Haley Hughes knows this better than most. 

“If you count marching band, then that would be a sport [I play],” Hughes said, “and then softball, basketball and track.” 

During the school day, Hughes takes Honors Geometry, Honors U.S. History, Honors English, Honors Biology and Honor Band. This rigorous schedule of both classes during the day and extracurricular activities after school pose some challenges in Hughes’s life. 

“Since it’s a lot of hard classes, there’s a lot of quizzes and tests that I need to definitely study for,” Hughes said, “but I also need to have time to go to practices and usually they fall at the same time, so I have to make certain time for studying while also getting ready for any practice that I have at that time.” 

Though these challenges can be hard to manage, Hughes has strategies that help her to stay on schedule and manage her time. 

“I use a lot of apps,” Hughes said, “and I have a whole journal–that’s how I organize everything so I can set certain times and I have alarms to make sure I do everything on time.” 

Hughes’s main reason for taking this many honors classes is for the academic validation. 

“…I just feel like I need to do as much as I possibly can and set that high expectation of myself,” Hughes said. 

For students struggling to balance school and extracurricular schedules, Hughes recommends notes and alarms to stay on track. Additionally, she recommends sticking with a consistent sleep schedule. 

“…Sleep is important, especially with a lot of stuff that you do, and then also keep your time to yourself as much as you can but also use it very well,” Hughes said. 

Despite setting this schedule for herself, Hughes often regrets it because it can be very overwhelming to never have a day or season off. She thinks she’ll give herself a lighter load academically in the future. As for others, she recommends considering whether or not students can handle it before setting themselves a schedule as busy as this. 

“Don’t give yourself a heavy load,” Hughes said, “unless you are able to manage your time very well.”