Balancing School, Sports, and Other Extracurriculars

Playing a sport or being involved in an extracurricular activity like theater, chess club, speech or debate club, or playing an instrument can improve social skills and better your grades, and of course look great on college applications.

But how much is too much? When becoming involved in multiple extracurriculars, make sure you’re still able to balance everything you have going on. This can be easier said than done, some days. It’s perfectly normal to have stressful and tiring days from time to time, but keep in mind that it’s not healthy to feel that way every day. Before you take on more, ask yourself these questions:

  • Will I still have time to complete my homework each night?
  • What time will I realistically be going to bed? Will I get enough sleep?
  • Is taking on a new activity going to negatively impact the time I spend with family and friends?
  • Is this something I’m passionate about?
  • Will this activity benefit me in the long run? (college, career)
  • Do I value this activity over another one? (prioritize your options so you can narrow down)

When weighing your decision, always keep in mind the benefits of being involved. When you have a healthy balance of extracurriculars and down time, you should be seeing positive results like good grades, improved mental clarity, and physical health. If any of these areas are suffering, consider removing something off your plate.

If you have concerns about being overwhelmed, know that you can always talk to your pediatric provider as a resource.