The Student News Site of Royal Oak High School

Acorn Newsmagazine

Acorn Newsmagazine

The Student News Site of Royal Oak High School

Acorn Newsmagazine

The Balance in Being Your Best

For busy ROHS students, involvement brings both stress and satisfaction
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Royal Oak High School provides students with a number of ways to get involved, including clubs, sports, CO-OP, student council, and community organizations. Students may find themselves involved in a variety of activities throughout their high school careers. AP and DP classes, challenging electives, and special projects for core classes all contribute to a hefty workload. Even with what might be considered an “easy schedule,” work can pile up quickly. Add to that any sports, clubs, hobbies, or jobs, life can become hectic and high pressured. Although it may seem advantageous to be heavily involved in the ROHS community, students acknowledge that balancing schoolwork with commitments can sometimes feel like an uphill battle. But at what point does getting involved become stressful?
Senior Sarah Barnett is connected to the ROHS community through a number of extracurricular activities.
“I’m involved in cross country, Unified Soccer, general education soccer, Unified Basketball, student council, spike ball club, NHS, and I’m a student representative for the Parent Teacher Student Association,” she said.

Klonke shows his school spirit by welcoming the audience to the Homecoming Pep Rally (Photo contributed by Sam Klonke)

Barnett describes her investment in school life as “definitely fulfilling.”
“It brings me so much joy in the feeling of being a part of the school community,” she said. “I love that I get to spend my day doing things that make me feel involved and a part of the community. I think without those things, I would feel a little lonely or stressed. That’s why I threw myself into these things in the first place. It makes me feel like me.”
While Barnett likes to serve the ROHS community, she notes there are often times when it can be hard to push through.
“It is definitely very easy for me to get overwhelmed regarding my extracurricular schedule,” she said. “It doesn’t make it easy for me. I’m a person who likes to have everything organized, and it can get very chaotic at times. But I think the satisfaction helps me push through, no matter how scared or stressed I am.”
While Ravens enjoy a variety of extracurricular options, getting involved also comes with stress. Seniors fill out college applications with lists of experiences beyond the classroom, but maintaining those commitments on top of completing college applications adds additional pressure, making what was once fun a lot harder to manage. Like Barnett, senior Sam Klonke knows how busy one can become and how sleep is hard to come by.
“Sleep is kind of a problem,” Klonke said. “I get about 5 to 6 hours. I do need to start going to bed earlier.”
Students might know Klonke from his involvement in sports such as football, golf, track, or Unified Sports. He is also involved in NHS, student council, CO-OP, and serves as this year’s senior class president.

Klonke said that while he feels tired at some points, using a system to complete everything on his agenda keeps him grounded.
“If you have a plan of what your day or week will look like, that’s great,” he said. “Think about what’s going to happen when you get home. I see how much homework I’m going to have for the night, and I think of what else I have to do. Right after practice, I get out of there.”
Klonke urges students to be proactive.
“Plan your day or week out, and set a goal. If you have a planner, that’s great, too,” he said.
Klonke describes his life as “busy,” but he considers that a plus.
“I love it,” he said. “I meet so many new people, and it’s a great experience to be out there and learn new things. I love it so much that when I’m not doing anything, then I don’t know what to do with my life.”
Seniors aren’t the only students with a full plate. Junior Grace Ronan finds comfort and family in her life outside of the classroom. Ronan puts hard work and effort into a number of extracurriculars, and leads a busy life with a packed schedule.
“I’m in student council, spike ball club, and Unified Champion Club. I play golf, tennis, Unified Soccer and Unified Basketball, as well as work a job,” she said.
While Ronan chooses to immerse herself in activities, she acknowledges the influence her family had on her growing up.
“I come from a family where the expectation is that you’ll always have one thing you’re involved in, and I think that mindset has positively impacted my life,” she said. “With student council, I don’t know why or how, but I stuck around, and haven’t stopped since!”

Ronan joined others on the bus to MASC/MAHS conference for Student Council. (Photo contributed by Grace Ronan)

Ronan’s typical day is often filled with lots to do and a limited amount of time to do it.
“I wake up from 5:30 to 6:00 a.m., then spend an hour in a before-school activity,” she said. “Then I go to school for eight hours, with a two-hour practice after school if I’m playing a sport, and do about an hour to two hours of work at home. I would say at least four hours of my day are spent doing something related to clubs or sports.”
Ronan explained that there is stress that comes with her busy life, but the rewards of her involvement are worth it.
“I always feel overwhelmed, but it’s the best kind of overwhelmed,” she said. “I’m surrounded by people who understand my struggle and want to make it easier for me. That’s why mental health is always a priority for me.”
Ronan explained that at the end of the day, it’s not just about completing your work. Self-care is important as well.
“It’s okay if something doesn’t get done, I need to put myself first,” she said.
To complete work in a desirable time frame, Ronan recommends students use good time management to create structure. As for getting more involved, Ronan recommends simply taking a chance.
“Just do the activity. It can seem overwhelming, but if you can figure out a way to use your time wisely, it’s so worth it,” she said.
Ronan’s one word description for her life is “beautiful.”
A lot can be learned from these busy ROHS students. It may be helpful to use a planner or schedule blocks of time for sleep. It’s also important to remember that these students are human, and experience stress like everyone else. Focusing on schoolwork or taking a break from work completely is important to maintain a sense of balance. At the same time, filling a schedule with activities is a great way to create meaningful bonds with people, gain life experience, and enjoy yourself.
“If you figure out the best way for you to make it work, it’s one hundred percent possible and one hundred percent worth it,” said Ronan.

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About the Contributor
Sam Smith, Reporter
Hi! My name is Sam Smith, and I’m a junior on the ROHS Acorn Newsmagazine team. I love reading, running, and listening to rock/alternative music. My favorite bands are the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Foo Fighters, and Slipknot (can’t forget Taylor as well!). They are what motivate me to keep working on schoolwork and to push myself as much as I can. I’m excited for a great year, and can’t wait to represent my school through the magazine!

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