U-High Midway

Is constant stress and overbooking worth it?

Students who ‘do it all’ aren’t always able to create balance

PERFECTING+THE+PRACTICE.+Sophomore+Emily+Chang+hits+the+gold+ball+out+of+a+sand+trap+during+a+tournament.+Emily+also+participates+in+internships+through+the+University+of+Chicago.
Back to Article
Back to Article

Is constant stress and overbooking worth it?

PERFECTING THE PRACTICE. Sophomore Emily Chang hits the gold ball out of a sand trap during a tournament. Emily also participates in internships through the University of Chicago.

PERFECTING THE PRACTICE. Sophomore Emily Chang hits the gold ball out of a sand trap during a tournament. Emily also participates in internships through the University of Chicago.

Photo provided by Emily Chang

PERFECTING THE PRACTICE. Sophomore Emily Chang hits the gold ball out of a sand trap during a tournament. Emily also participates in internships through the University of Chicago.

Photo provided by Emily Chang

Photo provided by Emily Chang

PERFECTING THE PRACTICE. Sophomore Emily Chang hits the gold ball out of a sand trap during a tournament. Emily also participates in internships through the University of Chicago.

Audrey Matzke, Assistant Editor

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Before classes, during lunch and in the car ride home, Emily Chang is constantly doing homework. For some, these habits would free up time for Netflix and socializing, but not for Emily.

With service, golf practice and three internships, she can barely find time for sleep.

As one would expect, Emily strongly values her future. However, through sleepless nights and early mornings, she fights to keep her passion separate from college aspiration — a struggle familiar to many U-High students.

Instead of easing into weekday mornings, setting multiple alarms and rolling out of bed at the last possible second, Emily wastes no time. Her day begins at 6:30 a.m., with a workout designed to keep young golfers in top physical shape. At 7:30, she leaves for school.

Emily’s schedule got busier during her freshman year, a year in which some U-High students struggle to balance passion and emerging college ambitions. To freshman Annika Ludwig, this struggle is all-too familiar.

With piano lessons, Model UN and tennis practice, sleep was the first casualty of Annika’s busy schedule. Then came the stress.

“I’ve definitely freaked out,” Annika said as she described the night before a MUN event. “I had so much going on for school, too.”

Though she hopes her dedication will pay off when applying to colleges, not all her activities serve this purpose. For Annika, piano is an enjoyable, relaxing pastime, not a bullet point on her résumé.

“Piano makes me happy,” Annika said. “It’s a good stress reliever.”

To Title IX Coordinator Elizabeth Noel, the late nights and busy schedules are a familiar, yet distant, memory. Ms. Noel, who earned her bachelor’s degree at Yale, said she’s always been an overachiever, especially in high school.

Now, as an adult, she is sympathetic to the inadequacy felt by many U-High students, as well as the guilt they experience when wondering if they use their resources to their full potential.

“Living in the shadow of the university comes with a heavy burden,” Ms. Noel said, referring to Lab’s proximity to the University of Chicago.

For some, the university’s shadow is a source of opportunity. Emily holds internships in business, law and chemistry through the University of Chicago, each meeting three times per week. Though she finds these internships enjoyable, she deeply values her academic future.

“My internships give me experience, she said. “They’re fun, and they help give me a glance into my potential future.”

School is one of the only places Emily gets to see her friends, as her weekends are almost always booked with golf tournaments.

“I can’t stay after school, Emily said, “even during breaks, I can’t see my friends.”

Like most teenagers, Emily wants to have fun. However, aside from the occasional K-pop concert, there isn’t much “fun” to be had with her schedule, at least not in the traditional sense.

Nonetheless, she manages to find amusement in swift, repetitive swing practice and joy in the sweet, simple pleasure of feeding lab rats.

Sometimes, however, living in the moment isn’t enough. On those days, it helps to imagine her future.

“I just have to remind myself why I’m doing this,” Emily said, “out of love and passion for the game. I know at the end of this, it will all pay off and I will finally be able to prove to myself that for once, I was good enough.”

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Left
  • Is constant stress and overbooking worth it?

    Features

    More students eat throughout the school’s hallways

  • Is constant stress and overbooking worth it?

    Features

    Meatless made mainstream

  • Is constant stress and overbooking worth it?

    Features

    Three ways to love Lakeview

  • Is constant stress and overbooking worth it?

    Features

    TikTok encourages self-expression, community

  • Is constant stress and overbooking worth it?

    Features

    Seniors find order, relaxation in tidying up

  • Is constant stress and overbooking worth it?

    Features

    Faculty Alumni reflect on how they came back to Lab

  • Is constant stress and overbooking worth it?

    Features

    For many a job means much more than money

  • Is constant stress and overbooking worth it?

    Features

    Senior lounge: Loud, mostly guys and not very clean

  • Features

    Voice of Chicago shapes character, worldview of U-High students

  • Features

    Experience meets dedication: Kahootlers demonstrate how to win the Hunt with second victory in four years

Navigate Right
The Student News Site of University of Chicago Laboratory High School
Is constant stress and overbooking worth it?