Sophomore Year, Here I Come (Hopefully)

In the mornings before school, I have orchestra every other day. Student council is every Tuesday. Model United Nations is every Wednesday. Amnesty International is every Thursday. Student Newspaper is every Friday.

And that’s just in the morning. I also have Speech and Debate practice most days after school, and starting sometime soon I’ll have tournaments every Saturday. I also have violin lessons every Thursday night for an hour, and I’m auditioning this year for the all-state orchestra with sincere hopes of getting in.

All of this will have to be done while maintaining some semblance of a social life, my hygiene and appearance to a halfway decent level, and my (much-loved) 4.0 GPA. In addition to all that, I am dedicated to this blog and also need some time to write, read, or watch TV purely for the sake of unwinding.

I’ve got my work cut out for me this year.

Some of my earlier readers may remember how I was having daily emotional breakdowns during November of 2013 due to my high amount of stress and anxiety. This year, I’ve got about five times as many commitments as I did then, but for some reason I’m feeling pretty good about it so far. I’m taking it as a personal challenge.

I’ve quit dance. I was in no way essential and I wasn’t progressing as fast as I would have liked to. My cousin and I had this half-baked idea that we’d go to yoga a couple of times a week this year and maybe to some sort of a spinning class in order to keep ourselves in shape and unwind, but it’s obvious that I won’t have time for any of that. Pretty much my only physical activity is going to have to come from gym class, which is only every other day. I’ve been going hard in it (well, as hard as you can go in gym class) and feeling pretty good. I also weigh about eighteen pounds more than I did at this time last year. I don’t know if it means I’m more or less healthy than I was. It’s at once reassuring and terrifying.

See, I have to have an absolutely stellar resume if I want to get into Columbia, especially if I want to receive enough scholarship money to actually attend. Going to Columbia Law is seriously the only thing I’ve been able to think about. I have to get in. I’d also accept NYU as a distant second, I guess, with Harvard as a VERY distant third. I want to live in New York so badly. I have to get into Columbia. I just have to.

I was going down the list today of all the clubs I’m doing, seeing if there was maybe something I could quit or devote less time to. Student council is by no means a necessity, but I’m already coming only every other week instead of every week so that I’m not always missing orchestra. Model U.N. is something I’ve been wanting to join for ages, and looks fantastic on a resume. Amnesty International is the organization I want to work for when I grow up, so it’d probably be a good idea to participate in whatever presence they’ve got in my school. I was asked to join the student newspaper by my English teacher, who runs it, and I could never turn him down. I CAN’T quit speech and debate. It’s one of the only places where I’ve really and truly found myself.

Which just leaves orchestra.

I don’t want to be a music major, and I have no interest in pursuing a career in music. But I’ve been in orchestra since fifth grade. Sometimes, I don’t know if I even would’ve made it through middle school alive if it wasn’t for orchestra, and ever since I started lessons last winter I’ve gotten…well, to be honest, I’ve gotten pretty good at the violin. But at the same time, it’s a huge commitment. It’s not like I even need the music credit or the art credit. In honesty, I’m all set. Hopefully I can find some way to work out a system with the teacher.

I don’t really know why I wrote this post exactly, I guess it sort of helped me to map it all out. If I’m not posting a whole lot (which I hope isn’t the case) or if I seem overly anxious (which I REALLY hope isn’t the case) then I guess you know why.

On the bright side, I got a bunch of iTunes gift cards for my birthday and bought 88 new songs (mostly Sumblime and Nirvana and the Grateful Dead, plus that new free album which is absolutely fantastic) and I also ordered a bunch of new books that I’ve had my eye on for, like, three years from Thriftbooks with a gift card my parents gave me, so I’m really excited. There is nothing that makes me more happy than books and music.

I know that this post is about as un-relevant to social justice as I can possibly get, but I still want to connect with my readers. Do you guys think I should keep going with orchestra? Should I try out for all-state (which practices multiple times a week), or will it be too much? To those of you in high school, what’s on your plate for the upcoming year? And, for those of you who aren’t, how are you holding up?

(((the books I ordered, in case anyone’s wondering, are Feed by Mira Grant, Premeditated and Arclight by Josin L. McQuein, Tessa Masterson will Go to Prom by Brendan Halpin and Emily Franklin, and Reboot by Amy Tintera. They’re a zombie book, a crime/revenge thriller, a dystopian, an LGBT rom-com-type-thing, and a sci-fi dystopian, respectively. I also got an amazon gift card, which means I can get a lot of books for my kindle. It probably sounds dumb but I am so fucking excited for these books to come!!!)

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3 comments

  1. Wow, I’d say you have a few things on your plate. I did pretty much nothing my sophomore year. I’m a junior this year and I’m a bit busier. I like to maintain a 4.0 as well, and this year is the first with the job. I’m all signed up for drama club and will hopefully be doing some work on the shows this year. I’m also part of a new club (Gay/Straight Alliance) so I don’t really know how much of my time that will take up. Most of my stuff is self-imposed busy, like working on the blog, the novel, and a portfolio for this really intense scholarship. I already dropped one of my super-advanced classes and another is soon to follow, which greatly reduces my stress.
    I really hope that everything works out for you! At least you’ll keep busy, if nothing else.

    1. Sounds like you’ve got a lot on your plate too!!! My school is technically a public school, but it’s test-in, so every single one of my classes is AP or accelerated. There’s no option for me to drop any of them.

      I’ve wanted to join my schools GSA so damn badly for as long as I can rememer. (way back when in middle school, I was too scared to join because then what if people thought *i* was gay???? the horror!!!) but it’s by far the least essential of all the clubs I could be doing and I just don’t have time for it. I think it’s awesome that you’re doing it though!! 🙂

      Drama club is also awesome. I used to take acting lessons when I was younger (which is why I’m so confident in speech and debate now) and I loved it so much. I wish I could go back to drama or doing the school musicals but it’s such a huge commitment. I don’t know how it is everywhere else, but at my school if you’re in the drama department, you’re ONLY in the drama department.

      Just out of curiosity, any idea what production you guys are putting on this year?

      Also, good luck with having a job!!! I can’t even begin to imagine how much work that must be. Good for you, girl! 🙂

      1. I have the nice bonus of it not really mattering what clubs I join or anything like that. I’m just going to a junior college in my town after high school, mostly for monetary reasons. It’s kind of impossible to not get in, so I can pretty much do whatever throughout my high school experience.

        The shows for this year are Guys and Dolls, The 39 Steps, and Blood Wedding by Lorca. I’m super excited for all of them for different reasons. I’ve read them all and they’re all really good.

        And I work at Subway, so after the first month or so, it got really easy. And also free sandwiches. It’s pretty great.

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