In many high school students’ lives, academics play a prevalent role, often taking up a significant portion of time. Despite this, Chamblee Charter High School students are finding ways to overcome these limits, specifically after the school day comes to an end.
For most of the student body, these after school activities offer an outlet to students that want to escape from stress, especially new ones still transitioning from middle to high school.
Freshmen Lucy Samuels and Madeleine Quark have found that joining Cross Country this year and having a support system composed of the team and coaches made this transition easier.
“Everyone there is really nice,” said Samuels. “It’s such a tight knit family, and the coaches are really awesome.”
Both freshmen note the benefits the exercise has brought them, especially with clearing their minds and coping with the stress of a new school year.
“It’s a lot of fun to just run and pretend you’re running away from all your problems,” said Quark.
Unlike Quark, not all students would describe their after school activities as relaxing. Most Chamblee students, along with staying on top of their academics, have demanding extracurriculars and rigorous schedules.
Freshman Caleb Carlton can attest to this. After school, he heads to swim team, which he describes as challenging. However, Carlton has noticed that this has helped him with schoolwork afterwards.
“Swimming on a team is very difficult where I go,” Carlton said. “The difficulty of the exercise kind of makes me forget about the stress of school, so when I go home to do homework, I feel more refreshed and ready to work on math.”
For other students, the relationship between homework and after school activities is often conflicting, making it difficult to balance the two.
“[Marching band] actually causes more stress,” said Nate Kite, a sophomore and clarinet player in the band.
Sophomore Ayden McLean and freshman Walker Kleinfelter also express their problems with time management after joining Chamblee’s marching band, which is two and a half hours long after school.
“You’re staying after school longer so you’re getting home at like seven o’clock every day, depending on how far you live,” McLean said. “You’re not getting to bed until really late.”
Despite problems that the time commitment of marching band can sometimes cause for its attendees, Kleinfelter says that the pros of staying after school outweigh the cons.
“The people in marching band are like the best people in the school,” he said. “I just want to hang out with them. They’re great.”
Sophomore Madeleine Mravkarov is a dancer who says that her craft can pose similar challenges, despite it being a priority for her.
“I honestly don’t have time to do much else,” said Mravkarov. “I try to do as much homework at school as I can and then stay up really late at night…sometimes it doesn’t work out, but I love what I do and I wouldn’t change it.”
For other students, unwinding and relieving stress does not involve an extracurricular, but a specific setting outside of school. These include places such as restaurants and cafes, where students can order something to eat as well as get work done.
Junior Zoe Kehoe and sophomore Yordi Denekew can both be found at the Chick-fil-A, which is within walking distance of the school. Both students note the quality in food and service there.
“It’s full of Chamblee students,” said Kehoe. “A couple of years ago we had a student ID discount, so all of the workers kind of know the Chamblee kids, and they’re also really nice…the food is also good, and it’s not expensive.”
Denekew appreciates Chick-fil-A for its friendly and welcoming ambiance, especially since many of her friends also go there after school.
“It’s a good study environment,” she said. “It has the students, which is the social aspect, without all of the stress [of school], which is a not so great aspect.”
Junior Klara Nitsche can say something similar about the Corner Cafe, where she often camps out to do work and draw after school.
“It’s really cute,” she said. “I always get a drink and then sit down to do work because it’s a cafe, so you’re socially expected to work…it’s really nice to go home and have less work to do.”
Sophomore Nicole Vaccaro also has her own special setting where she goes after school, primarily to make art and grab a bite to eat.
“I draw at Arby’s all the time,” Vaccaro said. “There are some really nice people there. It’s like one of those places where reality is altered. You just feel like a different person…[and] it’s nice to escape from school for a while.”