The chaotic life of a working student athlete


Payge Charnas

Senior Norman Hurns, drumline section leader, leads the band through the Groves annual Powder Puff football game. Even in the pouring rain, Hurns and the band give up their Friday nights to be at the Stadium for every varsity home game. Hurns and the band dazzles the audience with their musical talent.

As stated in my favorite movie Ferris Buller’s Day Off; “Life moves pretty fast, if you don’t stop and look around every once in a while you could miss it” – as a high school senior, I now know this to be true. Wanting to do everything in the short time you have can be one of the most challenging parts of being a teen. Especially being a teen in a digital world where everyone posts about everyone and everything, it’s hard to not feel like you’re missing out. Having a job, playing a sport, doing well in school, and having a social life sounds just about impossible to most people, but for a lot of high school kids, that’s just everyday life. With everything going on in my life, how do I know what to prioritize?

With November deadlines quickly approaching, college applications seem to be the only thing anyone can talk about. As my peers are getting into their dream schools, I can barely find time to go to the library after school to get my homework done. Even my hobbies, which usually help me relieve stress, have become a source of it.
As a varsity basketball player, even before the season starts there is practice three times a week. Although I love my team and the sport itself, I find the long and exhausting practices to be a huge time-consuming commitment.
My afterschool job has helped prepare me for the future, but between my job and basketball, it’s been a challenge to carve out any time for relaxation. Nearly every afternoon, from 4-10:30 pm, I am serving customers, cleaning, and preparing food. By the time I get home at eleven, I feel completely drained. I can barely make myself dinner let alone finish my homework and college applications.

Located on Woodward, Buddy’s Pizza is a favorite among customers and the workplace to Bella Shebib. She spends her afternoons preparing food and serving customers. As a frequent Buddy’s Pizza customer, I can say the food as well as the customer service is excellent. (Payge Charnas)

I am not alone – many of my peers have expressed how stressful being a working student-athlete can be. Norman Hurns, drumline leader and Dairy Queen employee, has a lot on his plate.
“Sometimes it can feel really overwhelming being a senior wanting to do it all but not having the time, and it’s easy to get behind on your actual work. At my job, we head home at 11 pm during the school year, so that also makes it a little bit harder to get schoolwork done. I find myself pushing my schoolwork off, which makes things more difficult to do later on”, said Hurns.

Bella Shebib, a varsity soccer player and Buddy’s Pizza employee, shares similar concerns.
“You don’t get a ton of free time when you have a job, school, and a sport. It’s a lot to keep up with and you never get the time to just relax. When I do have free time, it almost feels as if I should be working instead or doing something productive since that’s what I am so used to” said Shebib.
Shebib also mentions how exhausted her compact schedule makes her feel. Luckily at Groves, they try to offer some support. If you have a steady job and work at least 10 hours a week during the school year, you can actually take a free period called Co-op. Co-op, known in your transcript as a business internship, gives you a chance to catch your breath. This class doesn’t require you to come into school for the hour you have it. I have business internship during my third hour, which allows me to have both lunches. I love taking this class because I don’t need to rush to eat my lunch and I can complete any schoolwork I may be behind on. The teacher, Mr. White, makes the process quick and easy. The only required assignment for the course is filling out a work log once a month for your time in the class.
Although the stress can get to me and I end up finding myself emailing my teachers for extensions on assignments, I would never give up my job or my sport. These activities make me who I am. I love being able to work on my hobbies while collaborating with my teammates and coworkers.
Hurns agrees, claiming that although his hobby is time consuming, it completes his life.
“From a young age, it’s always been my dream to play the drums in college and high school is the entryway to do that. It’s a way to express myself and drumming, ironically, helps me find peace in the loudness of life” said Hurns.
Similarly, Hurns loves the independence and financial support that comes with having an afterschool job.
“It’s way more rewarding to buy things with my own money especially as teenagers are gaining more independence, since high school is such a socializing time in our lives, money is gonna be used for so many things; football games, going out to eat, charity week, spirit week”.

My main takeaway to all struggling students is to try your best to make your highschool years as fulfilling as possible while making sure you take some time to relax as well. Capitalizing on your time is a must, I’ve found that even using a simple calendar can make a huge difference. Staying organized is key in making sure your time is in your control. With all of this said, keeping a busy schedule still isn’t worth feeling exhausted at the end of each day.