Words: Michael Moore & Darius Baker
Ellicott City, MD – With the thought of college applications looming over them, juniors and freshmen alike, are stressing over getting that golden-ticket-like college acceptance letter. But that’s not all that these students have to balance in their lives. They have jobs, sports, endless amounts of schoolwork, and after that they have to find time for their social lives.
Enter Shazabe Ahktar, a freshman who is a perfect example of an overworked teenager. Shazabe plays soccer, is in the band, on SGA, and is a very good student. This is obviously a lot to take on, so Shazabe explained how he manages his time. “I always try to stay organized and I also try hard to avoid procrastination.” said Shazabe in an online interview.
According to “teenink.com,” teens that are overworked have higher stress levels, more sleep problems, and can even become depressed because of school. According to guidelines endorsed by the National Education Association, a student should be assigned no more than ten minutes per grade level, so the average 9th grader should have at the most 90 minutes of homework. Combine this amount of time with sports, SGA, and other extra curricular activities, and you have a hectic daily schedule. Not just making commitments to these activities is hard, as it is challenging to keep up with maintaining the hard work and consistency of school. “I try to maintain my grades by being efficient and hard working in and out of school.” said Shazabe.
Why does Shazabe do these activities? When asked this question, Shazabe shared “ These activities help me as a person and student because they give me experience in handling all types of situations and they teach me how to better interact with people my age, younger, or older… I think that I would be a completely different person if I didn’t do these activities. Another key reason Shazabe can avoid getting weighed down is that he enjoys what he does. “I do these extracurricular activities because I like to be well versed and I like to try a lot of different things. From music to sports to student government, I enjoy what I am doing.” When asked about his favorite activities, Shazabe had this to say: “My favorite activity is either SGA or travel soccer. In soccer, I have a chance to get to meet people from other schools, practice leadership, and travel to lots of cool places within the area. In SGA, I get a chance to express not only my own, but other students’ ideas. I also enjoy the fact that I get a lot of independence in SGA. Most SGA events are run by the students, such as homecoming, and it is really cool to be a part of that. It is fun to work and get to know students in all grades, freshmen to seniors as well.”
But Shazabe doesn’t spend everyday working. “… I try to find time to do things I enjoy. On most weekends I have a good part of the day to myself to relax, go outside, or hang out with friends.”
As for students like Shazabe, the school work can definitely be backbreaking, but the reward for all their hard work will definitely be worth it, “By taking part in various clubs, sports, and music programs, I have learned many important lessons that will help me be a better person now, and in the future.”