Walk down the hallways of Hockaday. Amidst the occasional littering and overstuffed backpacks in our hallways stand our lockers, clad with signs from each of our various activities and extra-curriculars. For some, that decoration could mean a combination of debate and soccer posters. For others, it could mean an overachieving combination of choir, track, math club, swimming and photography signs.Whatever the combination, the truth is inevitable: we are all well-rounded, which may actually hinder us in the long run.
But it’s not our fault. From the beginning, we are taught to have a fine art, play a sport, take a language, test off the charts in standardized tests, serve our community, sign up for as many clubs as we can and attend social events. Bathing, personal hygiene and appearance become second in importance as we fill our schedules with a plethora of activities. In anticipation of receiving an award and being the perfect college applicant, we take on everything that we can and create the busiest schedule humanly possible. But ironically, the focus and discipline it takes to balance all of our activities is more commendable than any award or flimsy college acceptance letter.
Or maybe being well-rounded has taken us a step back from achieving our own dreams. Amidst all of the chaos of rushing from dance class to an AP Latin lecture or from a piano lesson to an AP Chemistry class, we lose sight of finding a passion. Finding what we love is hard when we have ten other things to think about.
Aside from the occasional setback, the positives and benefits of being well-rounded are numerous. We’ve become apt multi-taskers and are extremely disciplined. We can watch Netflix while brainstorming for an English paper.
We have become master list-makers who understand how to balance time. We also know how to make use of every minute of free-time and use that time wisely to accomplish it all—even if that means using our extra seconds between conference and C block to finish that last problem on a Physics Web Assign. And we’re able to switch between subjects: we can approach a Calculus class with the same enthusiasm as the Spanish class we attended just minutes before.
So, incoming freshmen, here’s a word of advice: explore your options, find what you love and devote most of your energy to it. Don’t worry about being well-rounded. After all, as a Hockaday student, it will come naturally.