The Online Edition of the Annandale High School Newspaper.

The A-Blast

The Online Edition of the Annandale High School Newspaper.

The A-Blast

The Online Edition of the Annandale High School Newspaper.

The A-Blast

Filling free time after school

Highlighting the diversity of student life outside of school
Above+students+compete+in+a+game+of+chess+during+this+years%E2%80%99+first+Activities+Day
Jennifer Cory
Above students compete in a game of chess during this years’ first Activities Day
Student life outside of school is as diverse as the students themselves. Activities range from hobbies to jobs to family commitments and sports.
All of these activities mean that students don’t have much free time, even though the majority express the desire to have unscheduled time to unwind.
One way that school administrators have addressed the lack of free time is by providing W4 and Activities Days once a month. This allows students to either get more work done or participate in activities during school.
Administration highly encourages participation in Activities Days, as, “It’s a way to give our students connections to other faculty members, to other students, to peers, during the school day that’s not instructional, that’s not just sitting in class,” says Assistant Activities Director, Bryan Harris.
Administration is working towards improving Activities Days so students have more control over the offerings. “The next step in this is to hopefully give students the opportunity to say hey here’s something I really love, I’m passionate about. How can I share with my peers and find other kids in the school who are also excited about the same thing or just interested in learning about it,” Harris adds.
Whether students participate in activities during or after school, most agree on the importance of having pastimes that bring joy to their lives. Hobbies are necessary to maintain good mental health; as senior Ren Lyons puts it, “Hobbies are important to keep us sane throughout the stressful school year.”
Despite the importance of hobbies, it’s all too easy to end up using any free time a student may have on technology. While spending time on social media may be a hobby for some, it’s easy for others to get sucked in for hours at a time.
“Once we’re done [with our obligations] we just kind of sit there on our phones and we don’t tend to always go out and do stuff,” comments freshman Riya Vlcan.
This issue also extends into the classroom, where the use of electronics cuts into classwork time for some. Not everyone has the opportunity to waste time like this though: students that have obligations after school must use every minute they can during the school day to finish assignments.
“I’m really busy outside of school and I’ve had outside work but I’ve been able to get almost 90% of it done even in my extra time in classes so I don’t have to worry about it after school. And then as for my personal life, I plan activities so I know I have to but then I take my time and make sure that any breaks that I do have are being used for something,” says freshman Riya Vlcan.
The students that know what things do and do not work for them, when it comes to maximizing their time, are much more efficient when completing tasks. By doing this, even with a busy schedule, making time for hobbies isn’t impossible. Freshman Vania Valeriano-Cruz works at Paisanos after school and manages her school work by scheduling times where she is able to pursue her interests.
“It’s important to give yourself time to just do the things you like to let your brain [be] in peace from all the stress of work,” Valeriano-Cruz says.
Nonetheless, every student’s situation is different.
“Siblings can be a blessing and a curse at the same time,” says sophomore Tracy Do, who looks after her younger brother after school.
“My hobbies depend on my brother since I don’t have my license yet. (…)  I think it should be important to do what you want from time to time because it’s still your life and your parents should understand that,” adds Do.
Watching over younger family members after school can add additional stress to students’ lives, especially when it affects their ability to complete assignments.
“I don’t want to blame [my nieces] but I put everything aside for them, which makes me turn in homework late,” junior Allison Rodas explains. “I’m not one to really go and hangout with friends a lot so [taking care of my nieces after school] doesn’t really affect my social life as much as it does my school work.”
While having personal obligations after school can create consequences for some students’ school lives, they can also increase their appreciativeness, responsibility, and work ethic. Many students agree that the effort and stress that is put into balancing all the aspects of their lives is worth it when they’re able to indulge in their hobbies.
“I love getting a break from schoolwork, honors society officer duties, and sports so I can pursue my hobbies. Getting time to go out for a hike or go rock climbing helps me feel so refreshed after a long stressful week,” says senior, Ren Lyons.
No matter what student life outside of school looks like, student sentiment shares a common theme: it’s important to capitalize on opportunities to explore oneself and become well-rounded beyond the academic setting of high school.

Story continues below advertisement
Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Zoe Ligairi, Lifestyle Editor

Sophomore Zoe Ligairi is in her first year at the A-Blast as the Lifestyle Editor. She is currently an AWC tutor, the founder and president of the Pasifika club and is eager to join other clubs at the school. In addition to clubs, Zoe plays Volleyball and Softball for Annandale. In her free time, she enjoys reading, thrifting, listening to music and spending quality time with her family and friends.

Comments (0)

All The A-Blast Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *