Why I Quit ______


The author dancing at the 2020 Showstopper Atlanta Regionals

Lyvia Huang, Reporter

Starting from when I was about 3, my parents enrolled me in various extracurricular classes so that I could find something I was passionate about and interested in – and maybe to discover if I were a hidden prodigy at something. Turns out I’m not, and although I did end up finding activities I enjoy, I went through a lot, both classes my parents enrolled me in when I was younger and clubs at school I joined when I got older, before I settled on those. Here is a list of all the extracurricular activities I’ve quit in my life along with the reason I quit in roughly backward chronological order.

Cross country
I joined cross country at the beginning of this school year because I didn’t want to take P.E. and wanted to get P.E. credit through cross country. That idea proved to be pretty unattainable for me, and I stopped showing up to practice around a month before the season ended. When I did go, I only went to practice 2-3 times a week because I had other clubs on other days of the week, and although I don’t regret joining because I think cross country was physically good for me, I am not a good runner at all and constantly walked during runs. On one of the last days I showed up to practice, one of the coaches pulled me aside and told me that I shouldn’t still be walking during practice. I knew that was true and didn’t have many hours for P.E. credit yet anyway, so I decided I would just take P.E. next year and stop cross country.

Dance is by far the most meaningful extracurricular to me that I’ve quit. I loved dance and plan to dance again in college. I started dancing when I was five and went through three different dance studios, the last of which I attended for six years. I learned so much about much more than dance from that studio. I learned about hard work, dedication, passion, and teamwork, and I looked up to basically all of my classmates because everyone was so talented and hardworking. I quit dance because I wasn’t at the level of intense training that most of my classmates were at, and I knew I wasn’t talented enough and wasn’t willing to work hard enough to be a really strong, competitive dancer. Almost all of the dancers around my age at that studio are extremely serious about dance, and I just wasn’t there. I quit because it wasn’t the right studio environment for me.

Chinese school
I’m not sure if Chinese school deserves to be on this list. I don’t take Chinese classes anymore because I’ve taken all the grade levels of classes offered at my school and took AP last year (10 years of Chinese school!).

Debate team
In middle school, I really wanted to join the debate team, but my mom wanted me to join the math team, which met on the same day. When I came to Chamblee High, I planned to join the debate team, but I only went to a few meetings because it conflicted with VEX robotics meetings.

Academic bowl
I really enjoyed academic bowl. I quit when I started high school because, being someone who tries to be self-aware, I knew I was really bad at it. I wasn’t willing to study enough.

Math team
I quit math team when I started high school after being in it in both elementary and middle school. I’ve never particularly loved math or hated it, but I was in math team because my mom wanted me to be in it. In high school, though, there were other clubs I was much more interested in, so I didn’t join.

If I remember correctly, I quit art classes around when quarantine began. For a while, my Saturdays were very busy, with Chinese class in the morning and then art and dance class in the afternoon. My weekend schedule became increasingly full, and I stopped taking art to give myself a break.

Reading bowl
I was actually relatively good at reading bowl and had a lot of fun participating in it. In sixth grade, I helped my reading bowl team make it to regionals by answering four questions correctly in a five-question tiebreaker round at the district level. I didn’t join reading bowl when I started attending Chamblee Middle because I had heard that Chamblee Middle’s reading bowl team was consistently not very good.

Voice lessons
A while back, I went through a phase of thinking I could become a famous singer. I asked my parents to enroll me in classes with Angelica Hale’s vocal coach, and my mom said I could try vocal lessons for a month. Looking back, I’m not sure why my parents let me do this – those classes were unbelievably expensive. I actually practiced what my teacher told me to very diligently, but the vocal exercises were much more like screaming than singing. My mom strongly disliked hearing me practice, and after four classes, she didn’t sign me up for any more.

My favorite part of soccer was stomping the grass and mud off of my cleats on the sidewalk after practices and games were over. My dad tells me I would stare at the grass during practice and miss the ball when it went right past me; I think it’s safe to say I didn’t really like soccer. I played on a recreational team for one season and missed the final game because it was raining. I thought the game would be canceled, and I found out afterward that it hadn’t been and that everyone else on my team had shown up to play, but honestly, I didn’t feel too regretful about not going.

When I was around eight, I think my parents wanted me to get more exercise – I’ve never enjoyed most forms of exercise and currently exercise an unhealthily miniscule amount. Therefore, I was enrolled in tennis lessons, which were somewhat boring because the coach never actually had the students play tennis matches; she just threw the ball and had us hit it over the net. I didn’t find this particularly fun, and once classes were over, I stopped playing.

I used to go to China to visit family with my mom every summer, and when my sister got older, she came with us. One year, my mom and grandmother decided to enroll my sister and me in a daily badminton class. I have never had an aptitude for ball sports, and while badminton was okay, I kind of dreaded going to class because I didn’t know anyone there except for my sister and didn’t really like talking to people in Mandarin. Once we got home that summer, my badminton era was over.

I think I started gymnastics when I was around four. I barely remember anything about it, but my parents tell me I was pretty bad. The one anecdote I do have from gymnastics is actually the reason I quit. I was attending a gymnastics summer camp, and one day, I was practicing something on the bar when I somehow ripped half of my thumbnail off. My thumb would not stop bleeding, and I had to go to the bathroom and hold it under the sink for what I remember to be an extremely long time. That same day, I tripped while walking across the spring floor and twisted my ankle. I think that was when my parents decided I was too clumsy for gymnastics.

I’m happy with my extracurriculars now, but sometimes I wonder what my life could’ve been like if I had stuck with those voice lessons.