The Student News Site of University of Chicago Laboratory High School

U-High Midway

The Student News Site of University of Chicago Laboratory High School

U-High Midway

The Student News Site of University of Chicago Laboratory High School

U-High Midway

Through classes, art teachers aim to grow art appreciation

Student athletes struggle to find balance amid new schedule

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Alex Diamond
The frosh/soph soccer team is dismissed early in order to make it to their game on time. Student-athletes struggle missing class when homework, assessments and lessons are dispersed throughout their day.

The bleachers are packed, cheers echo through the air and bright sunlight shines on the team of student athletes. Sophomore Xia Nesbitt grips the handle of her tennis racquet, squinting against the sun. While her heart is caught up in the game, in the back of her mind sits the upcoming chemistry midterm and the textbook chapters that need to be read before it happens. 

It can be tough to find a balance between academics and athletics when homework, assessments and lessons are dispersed throughout a student’s days. Athletic programs can be a respite from academic stress — and for many students are among their favorite activities at U-High — but they can also cause anxiety about making up work or missing deadlines. 

Xia is a member of the girls tennis team, which has away matches more than half of the season. For locations especially far from campus, the team has to leave early — thus, Xia misses class. Additionally, student athletes have been missing more class than before due to the new schedule and later start time. Travel to away games combined with the already lost classroom hours can be difficult to account for.

“My mom hates it when I have to miss school,” Xia said, laughing. “She’s definitely one of those parents who says, in ‘student-athlete,’ ‘student’ comes first.”

Xia said the stress of missing class time and the fear of falling behind can be managed through organization and notifying teachers about when class will be missed — especially if the class period is missed frequently because of this year’s later dismissal time.

“I think the key is really just having good communication with your teachers and being open about needing to catch up,” Xia said. “It’s sort of about finding your own balance, you know, and figuring out for yourself what works best for you.”

 Laura Gill, deputy athletics director, said that even the most dedicated student athletes should prioritize their academic responsibilities.

“I think part of being a student athlete is being a student first, so we really put the responsibility on them to make sure that their classroom work is being taken care of,” Ms. Gill said.

Ms. Gill also believes that being a student athlete teaches students important lifelong lessons, in academics and life outside school. 

“There are so many elements of participating on a team where you kind of learn lessons that you can apply to your entire life,” Ms. Gill said. “I think students that participate in athletics learn time management skills, and I think they learn accountability and responsibility, and those are just key things that you can carry with you throughout the rest of your life.”

The whack of racquets fills the court as the players focus their eyes on the ball. Chemistry exams and homework anxiety fade away, replaced by the thrill of the game. The work and tests won’t go away and this balance must still be worked hard to maintain, but for now, the athletes bathe in sunlight and adrenaline as they grin and fight to bring their team to victory.

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About the Contributors
Light Dohrn, Assistant Editor
Light Dohrn is a member of the Class of 2026 and a Midway assistant editor. As a ninth grader, she joined the journalism team during the 2022-23 school year. Her favorite piece she has written for the Midway is “Through authenticity and humor, biology teacher inspires passion among students.” Outside of journalism, she enjoys Middle-Earth fantasy books and Tarantino films. Awards: 2023 Journalism Education Association National Student Media Contests, Boston convention: Excellent, review writing 2023 Journalism Education Association National Student Media Contests, San Francisco convention: Honorable mention, press law and ethics
Alex Diamond, Photographer
Alex Diamond is a photojournalist and a member of the Class of 2026. His favorite part of photojournalism is taking photos. Outside of photojournalism, Alex enjoys hanging out with friends and learning new things. Awards: 2023 Journalism Education Association National Student Media Contests, Boston convention: Honorable mention, feature photo

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    Annette RichardsOct 25, 2023 at 12:05 pm

    I agree wholeheartedly that sports and being a member of a team is an extremely important role in a student’s life. Academics should be stressed and managed to develop life long skills .

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