Busy students find balance among school, work, clubs

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Staying busy has been advocated for keeping teenagers out of trouble, but some teens say they are simply too stretched.

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Midland Valley sophomore Steven Bell, 17, is in school clubs and works part time several days a week at a supermarket.  Special
Special
Midland Valley sophomore Steven Bell, 17, is in school clubs and works part time several days a week at a supermarket.

The hectic schedules that have captured so many of their lives can be harmful, according to Brandi Clark, 14, an eighth-grader at Langley-Bath- Clearwater Middle School.

"It totally depends on the person," she says. "Everyone's different about how much they can take. You have to know your own limits."

As a member of the soccer team, karaoke club, band and student council, she understands juggling extracurricular activities, homework and chores.

For Steven Bell, a 17-year-old Midland Valley High School sophomore, having a job at a Food Lion adds even more on his already-crowded plate.

During an average week, he works 18 to 24 hours over five days. He also is in clubs at school, including Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Beta Club, and he is highly involved in his church.

"Some of the requirements for extracurricular activities are way too strict, and the qualifications are over the top," he says.

He concedes that his job can be a stressful part of his life, but he believes that having a job can be good if you don't overdo.

"I overexert myself quite often, though," he said.

With all of the activities that teens are packing on themselves, one must ask, "What is the point?" It seems that the jury is still out among the teens.

"It's really hard to tell what is going to be a good investment in your future," Brandi says.

Tyler Reeves, 15, a home-schooled sophomore, is in advanced math work, but he also balances involvement in a home-school drama club and in his church choir.

"My major goal for this time in my life is to make a good life for myself and the people I love, and to please God with everything I do," he said. "My busyness isn't hurting it, but it's not exactly helping it, either."

Rebekah Bryant is a freshman in home school.

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