With a new school year comes new opportunities for student involvement. Some ways students can get involved include playing a sport, running for school office, joining a club, dressing out for spirit days, attending sporting events after school and going to functions the school hosts.
These are all examples of occasions that student participation is encouraged but not required, leaving it solely up to the student to decide to be involved or not.
This may not seem like a big deal, but, when a student takes part in typical high school traditions such as going to sports games and attending dances, it enhances the overall experience one has in their 4 years in high school.
Karin Chenoweth, a writer for edtrust.org wrote, “When I visit a school, I am always struck by the traditions and rituals that help establish the school’s identity and signal what a school values.”
Matt Saunders, a senior at Leesville, said, “Participating in all these things has provided me [with] an environment to make new friends, and, you know, just support the school that I love coming to. Being involved in high school is the key to success. It’s easy to make friends, and when you’ve got friends, high school isn’t very scary.”
On the other hand, some students believe that taking part in after school spirit events do not affect their outlook on high school in anyway.
After conducting 8 interviews with some students who do not enjoy school events, the consensus drawn is simple: students who chose to not engage in school related activities do so because they simply do not want to waste their time.
During the interviews, students made similar statements such as, “it’s a waste of my time,” “I don’t care enough to go,” “I would go, but I have better things to do.”
Some students do not want to dress up and make a fool of themselves trying to stick to high school themes. They do not want to spend almost $10 on a game they will not be engaged in or be in a club that will take away from their freetime.
However, former Leesville students can testify how beneficial exerting time and energy into school activities really is.
Parker Yount, former student and sports editor for The Mycenaean, said via text: “So as someone who played in 2 varsity sports (football and soccer), was a member of 6 different clubs (Latin, FCA, Liaisons, NLHS, NHS and student council) and participated in every spirit week and went to almost every big game, I can say that if you’re not getting involved in campus life then you’re doing it wrong.”
To one student, 6 clubs, and 2 varsity sports may seem like a lot of pressure while still trying to keep up with their regular school work.
Yount explains– “There are so many reasons to do these things including simply expanding your knowledge, doing community service, meeting new friends and making connections with advisors that will matter when you’re applying to college. As far as the traditions of high school are concerned, in a time where students can often get weighed down by their studies, the little things like spirit week, football game cheers, senior crowns or even the coloring of your parking spot can go a long way.”
Alex Pope is a former student at Leesville Road High School who graduated in 1997. At that time, Leesville had only been open 4 years prior to his graduation– meaning the first year Leesville opened as a fully operational high school was Pope’s freshman year.
Being that this was the first class of Leesville Road High School, certain aspects of high school were valued differently. Back in Pope’s time, building this brand new school community was extremely important to these loonies. Being involved in sports, after school events, clubs, and extracurricular opportunities was the way they chose to do so.
Alex Pope chose to participate in sports, and he played football during all 4 years of his high school career.
Pope said, “We weren’t good, but we played hard and partied harder together! I can definitely say with it being a new school it is how I met people and bonded. Still talk to my best pals weekly.”
This shows that after joining his school community, he made lifelong friendships, which is also one of the main reasons students are encouraged to join.
Disregarding the importance of school involvement may not allow individuals to enjoy their high school experience as much as they can, holding students back from retaining all high school has to offer.