Opinion: Of course academics matter, but right now they are killing our extracurriculars


Erin Dallatorre

Drum Major Brooke Carlson helps instruct Marching Band students during an after school band practice.

Erin Dallatorre, Pepper Bough Staff Writer

Student involvement at CHS has noticeably declined this year. With both the football team and the Marching Band in need of new members, it appears school morale itself is in decline.

Extracurriculars build a sense of community at school, so the reduction in student involvement makes it harder for campus to feel welcoming. Students should be involved. Involvement is always good. Socialization is always good. 

Although community is important, in a “normal” year it can be hard for students to balance life at home and life in school. In a pandemic year, this seems even more challenging than ever. 

This is unfortunate for the students like me that look forward to their extracurriculars more than any of their core classes.

Activities like band and sports are a lot more fun than sitting in a chair for hours doing busy work. 

“I encourage students to get involved at school, community, or church every year,” says Ms. Roxanne Berch, Algebra II teacher at Colton High. “I think it’s essential for people to be balanced in life. The aspects of a balanced person include: physical, mental, emotional, social, school/work, and spiritual.” 

And it is not just teachers at our very own CHS encouraging this. There are professors confirming it too. 

Dr. Jan Hughes, professor at Texas A&M University says, “If you’re looking at children’s change in school involvement and achievement, it is kids who are in athletics and sports that are most likely to benefit in terms of their being engaged in or part of a peer group that will support their academic achievement.”

Not only are extracurriculars fun, they benefit academic success. It adds fun and balance. 

I’m going to be brutally honest when I say I do not like school. Not much of it interests me, and the way that school is now doesn’t motivate kids to learn. The majority of us simply want to pass and move on with our lives. 

I always hear the conflicting opinion that you should only focus on school and put fun second. However, it is refreshing to hear encouragement of balance. Work and leisure should be on the same level of importance. Never one in front of the other.

It is only my extracurricular activities that I look forward to, personally. And doing them helps me find balance so that I’m not just doing unpleasant work all the time. Being consistent really helps in school and beyond. Be consistent in school and in yourself. 

Coach John Wooden, the legendary coach from UCLA, thought that after “love,” the second most important word was “balance.” I agree. Love is of utmost importance, but balance is the key to a happy and enriched life.

We should all listen to Coach Wooden on this one.