With 80 clubs and organizations, 30 sports teams, the variety show, the musical and honorary societies, Glenbrook South offers a wealth of opportunities to explore interests and talents. Students have many reasons for getting involved: a desire to explore new interests, pursuing a talent or passion or gathering impressive activities to get into the college of their choice. At GBS, we are very lucky—there is something for everyone. In fact, there can be more than just one thing for everyone. With these opportunities, it is inevitable that conflicts may arise. The Oracle Editorial Board has suggestions for both students and coaches and activity sponsors to solve these conflicts.
Devoting yourself to something is rewarding, but also time consuming. Students need to balance the significant time commitments of activities with the significant time commitment of homework, not to mention seeing the occasional friend. One option is for students to focus on just one or two activities, but this requires them to know what they want to do when they are freshmen to the exclusion of trying new things. The other option is to try different things, and hope the sport or activity sponsors can be flexible with their time requirements.
In the midst of student exploration, the Oracle Editorial Board believes that students should give careful thought to the commitment to each activity they decide to take on.
Each activity or sport is a time commitment, not just to the activity, but also to the others on the team or in the club. This varies by the type of activity, but it is not something that can be ignored.
Mike Noll, head football coach, believes that no matter the sport, varsity sports should be a priority to students.
“[In] varsity sports across the board, kids have to be there, it’s hard to be flexible about that,” Noll said.
While senior Alex Williams* agrees that attendance policies can be very strict, he understands why they are necessary.
“[Our coach is] concerned about playing football, which is very intense, and sharing [that time] with other activities is difficult,” Williams said. “We have to be a good football team and play good football, so at the end of the day, [he does] what he needs to do.”
The goal of sports and activities is not to join as many as you possibly can; the goals are to explore, grow and develop. Discover what you like to do at South and make full commitments to each of those things. If you don’t, you are doing a disservice to yourself and your fellow students.
Coaches and Activity Sponsors:
In a school with so many opportunities, students are bound to run into conflicts if they are involved in more than one activity. The Oracle Editorial Board believes that coaches and activity sponsors need to provide an environment that allows students to explore other activities and academics.
One of the main messages to freshmen as they enter high school is to “leave their fingerprints all over the school” and to get involved, and that is exactly the message that should be conveyed. High school is the time to discover who you want to be and what your passions are.
The Oracle Editorial Board also understands that many coaches and activity sponsors are understanding of students’ multiple commitments. According to an Oracle-conducted survey of 106 juniors and seniors, 89 percent believe that their coaches and activity sponsors are always or sometimes understanding of their conflicts and time.
Marty Sirvatka, Art Department Instructional Supervisor, believes in the importance of students exploring activities outside of the music department.
“It’s a good time in a kid’s life to investigate different things.” Sirvatka said. “I purposefully structure [my rehearsals] not to be after school so that students can be involved in different things.”
The goal of student activities and athletics is student development as a whole. This goes well beyond trying win a game or competition. Senior Nate Turk is involved in many activities and is very familiar with the stress of competing demands.
“I think [coaches and activity sponsors] should understand that GBS is a very involved community and a lot of people that are involved in one thing are most likely involved in other things,” Turk said. “So, they should be more understanding with that and more flexible with that. Yet, I understand that it can come to a point where it is just too much.”
Of course, a student can not be involved in everything that seems interesting, but that too is a lesson in making choices. High school is supposed a time to learn, experience new things, meet new people and find out more about who we are and what we might want to do in the world. It would be shameful if in this school of opportunity, unnecessary inflexibility limited the opportunity for students to participate in a wide range of activities.