The Student News Site of McCallum High School

The Shield Online

The Student News Site of McCallum High School

The Shield Online

The Student News Site of McCallum High School

The Shield Online

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From the field to the stage

Double threat Knights work from sunrise to sundown

Few people recognize how much overlap there is between the McCallum Fine Arts Academy and the McCallum sports teams’ extracurriculars. There are students working hard every day to balance their passions and give their time to two (or more) different activities. Some students stay at school for over 12 hours every day, while others don’t get home until close to midnight after a long day of practice, classes and a football game. While this balance is stressful, it is also highly fulfilling and there are many pros and cons to be explored in this busy lifestyle.

Participating in both a fine art and a sport, while gratifying, can be extremely difficult and time-consuming. It requires hours of devotion and concentration to balance multiple activities and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Many students arrive at school early and stay late after school to make time for their extracurriculars. Senior Ellie Knoll, a member of the marching band and the varsity soccer team, has to cram her schedule to find time for her activities.

“Sports are after school, and then band is in the morning, so it’s usually just like longer days,” Knoll said. “I have to wake up early and stay after school and then I’ll just stay up later.”

In addition to affecting one’s days, being so involved at school can also have an effect on sleep. With a sport, fine arts, school work and other activities piling up, it is often sleep that is cut short.

For senior Henry Mayes, this is especially true.

“I’m probably going to bed at 1 a.m. and then waking up at 7. So six or five hours of sleep is my average.”

[Sports and fine arts] exercise two different parts of what I love. Basketball is ‘we want to win the game’ and theater is ‘we want to win for the audience.’

— Henry Mayes

Lastly, participating in a sport and fine art can be difficult because sometimes, the time commitments overlap. Students have to make sacrifices by missing practices and rehearsals, forcing them to choose between their passions.

According to sophomore Ava Dallesandro, while it is stressful to manage both activities at the same time, it is not impossible.

“I just try to be in two places at once, which is really tough,” she said, “but it’s worth it.”

While the long hours can be overwhelming, students are drawn to the supportive community, learning opportunities and irreplaceable memories from the various activities offered at McCallum. The combination of two contrasting activities such as sports and the fine arts can provide unique opportunities that are tailored to these driven students’ goals.

That has certainly been the case for Mayes, the Troy Bolton of McCallum.

Additionally, the supportive teammates, cast members, and peers are the strong core of every activity here at McCallum. Senior Thomas Ross is a percussionist in the marching band and on the soccer team.

“Getting to share what I’ve learned and what I spend so much time on is just amazing. It’s a great feeling,” Ross said.

It’s just really about learning to take care of yourself and make sure you’re doing the best you can at both of the things that you’re doing.”

— senior Sydney Safarik

Even though many students follow their passions and seek enjoyment participating in multiple extracurricular activities, some become mentally exhausted and choose to quit in order to prioritize their mental health.

For instance, senior Sydney Safarik participated in theatre, cross country and track her freshman year. She dropped track after her freshman year, then dropped cross country after her sophomore, she said.

“Quite honestly running was very stressful for me,” Safarik said, “and it got to the point where I was like ‘Hey this isn’t so great for my mental health anymore,’ so I took a step back and focused on what I love [theatre].”

Sophomore Lexi Niles Argüello was involved in four extracurriculars her freshman year, but dropped color guard for her sophomore year due to time constraints. Lexi’s longest day at school was from 4 a.m. to midnight, making her longest day at school 20 hours. Both of these students illustrate that it isn’t always enjoyable to participate in multiple activities as they can be overly stress-inducing.

Whatever decision someone makes with regard to their time, there will always be someone who has experienced the same chaotic schedule before them. When asked how she would advise freshmen choosing their high school path, Niles Argüello said, “Just try to finish as much work at school as possible and just focus on what you’re doing when you’re doing it, and stay present.”

It’s important to know what will help you and what will hurt you in your life, Safarik said.

Whether you’re in a sport, a fine art, an academic club, an activity outside of school, or any mix of those, it’s important to know yourself and what keeps you happy and healthy.

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