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

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Younger students struggle to pick between clubs

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Leila Rezania
With all the different club options with conflicting schedules, many students newer to U-High are forced to prioritize some and omit others.

The cafeteria is bustling with noise as students are rushing off in all directions. The sound of backpacks being smacked down and scooped up fills the air. 

Ninth graders cluster on the right side of the cafeteria, with many gathering their backpacks as they leave. The loud bustle of the cafeteria creates a chaotic rush as students push open the doors to the stairway as they frantically contemplate which club to attend today. Will it be Girls Who Code or Student Council? Arts Fest or Entrepreneurship Team?

Every day as many as 10 clubs meet, providing both options and conflict for many students. 

Predominantly younger students are struggling to choose which clubs to attend due to the wide variety held each day, creating a balancing act for students regarding their priorities. 

Ninth graders with a large variety of interests and ambitions are working to balance them, while also working to find time for all of them in their schedules. 

Saanika Dutta, a ninth grader, chooses to prioritize her role as grade vice president over other clubs she is a part of such as Finance Club, Robotics Club, Girls Who Code and more, many of which are held on the same day. 

Many clubs Saanika is a part of meet on the same days, forcing her to make decisions about her priorities by weighing factors such as interest, learning and simply enjoyment, she said. 

“There’s so many clubs meeting on the same day, it’s impossible to be in two places at once,” she said. 

Other students making this choice are weighing the factor of a leadership role in their club decisions. 

Ninth grader Isabelle Ji is part of many U-High clubs, including Book Club, Podcast Club, Asian Students’ Association and Allergy Network, among others. Isabelle chooses to prioritize her role as secretary of the Podcast Club over other clubs she enjoys due to a goal she and her family made to expand her interests, she said. 

Older U-High students made many club choices in their ninth grade year and tend to simply continue what they’ve enjoyed, rather than trying new things. 

Sophomore Jack Spiotto has been in Model United Nations since last year and has not had to make any choices about which clubs to attend this year due his continued participation in the same clubs as last year. 

What made him come back to the club was the validation winning an award at the end of his ninth grade year gave him, along with showing him that “all the hard work I put in was worth it,” he said. 

Older students are also considering the ways their club choices appear on a college application, an issue that may be less prevalent among younger students. 

Junior Hana Javed began participating in Rennescience Literary Board her sophomore year and was drawn to it due to her intention to major in humanities in college.

She wanted colleges to see her focus and her history of serious writing and editing, she said. 

With the loud, busy sounds of the cafeteria traded for the quiet discussion of clubs, ninth graders scoop up their backpacks, leaving a club for their various afternoon classes. As they leave, they ponder tomorrow’s lunch period. The options swirl around their heads, and mental checklists of priorities, enjoyment and commitment swirl alongside them. Weighing pros and cons, the same question persists day after day: where will lunch be tomorrow?

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About the Contributors
Lucy Shirrell
Lucy Shirrell, Reporter
Lucy Shirrell is a member of the Class of 2027 and a reporter for the U-High Midway. She began reporting for the Midway in 2023-24, as a ninth grader. Lucy is also participates in many U-High clubs, along with singing in a choir.
Leila Rezania
Leila Rezania, Photographer
Leila Rezania is a member of photo journalism and a member of the Class of 2025. Her favorite part of photojournalism is capturing stories through photography. Outside of photojournalism, Leila enjoys painting and going on runs.

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