School activities prevent students from developing the ability to plan their own lives

Volunteer at the next blood drive for National Honor Society. Practice for the softball game tomorrow. Go to the Key Club meeting on Wednesday. Graduation practice is coming up next week. Study for finals. The to-do list never ends.

There is no question about it; high schools offer many activities and opportunities for students to be involved in the school, but all of those activities come at a cost to the student, who becomes consumed with high school.

The cost of playing sports, volunteering, going to social events and taking difficult classes during high school is not limited to the amount of time and energy it takes to complete all of these activities, but the fact that all of these opportunities are offered to students in a sheltered setting, given to them as long as they can pay and find the time to be a part of them. High school is a full time job, but it shouldn’t be.

Being a part of so many activities is part of the “high school experience” some would say, but the overall purpose of high school is lost and forgotten in the wake of the “high school experience.”

The purpose of middle school is to prepare children for high school and the purpose of high school is to prepare teenagers for college and the workforce. In the future, all events are not planned for students, students must seek out the activities they wish to be a part of and plan their own lives and schedules. In college and the workforce, students do not have their volunteer hours planned for them; a student in college cannot sign their name next to a time slot and be magically signed up to volunteer like high school students can do as members of the National Honor Society or Key Club. In the workforce, teachers will not be there to excuse tardies or accept late work. In college, there are limited counselors to help plan every scholastic move compared to high school. In college and the workforce, students will not know how to take charge of their own lives because in high school, no one gave them the chance to go off on their own, make mistakes and discover the world on their own.

Rather than allowing parents and teachers to be so active in sheltering and aiding high school students, students should be given the chance to take initiative and plan events they wish to be a part of. Students should be able to seek their own volunteer opportunities, not depend on the ones provided to them. Students should be able to start clubs and develop the plan to make them successful. Students should be allowed and encouraged to leave the boundaries of high school to seek independent activities. Students should take hold of their lives now and learn how to create, for themselves, a successful future. In high school all of the opportunities are given to us, we are sheltered to the point of not being able to learn and grow in the world and workforce without help.