Creating a mental and physical balance

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Creating a mental and physical balance

Activities like Iowa Youth Congress have been a big part of Pinho's high school career.

Activities like Iowa Youth Congress have been a big part of Pinho's high school career.

Rishab Verma

Activities like Iowa Youth Congress have been a big part of Pinho's high school career.

Rishab Verma

Rishab Verma

Activities like Iowa Youth Congress have been a big part of Pinho's high school career.

Rishab Verma, Photo Manager

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Each of the four years of high school has a specific purpose: to prepare students for adulthood. Whether that means preparing for further education or some other pursuit, the various facets of high school play a vital role in the future of students.

The main medium of that preparation is the classroom. Rigorous coursework allows students to not only become more knowledgeable but also prepare for the types of subjects covered in college.

However, the skills students gain in the classroom are finite, which is why so many students find fulfillment in activities outside of school. Additionally, something an increasing number of students are realizing is the benefit of diversifying the types of activities they do.

High school is a time to try new endeavors in the hope of finding more niche interests. These interests, if one is lucky, can turn into major guiding factors when eventually choosing a career.

Senior Gui Pinho has utilized this thought process as he budgeted his time throughout high school. Each year, he chose to involve himself in different activities, ranging from wrestling to Iowa Youth Congress. From each of those activities, he was able to work his way towards his eventual plans after high school.

As a wrestler, Pinho learned perseverance. “Although a full wrestling match only lasts about six minutes, each second of it drags on longer than anything else,” he said. “Wrestling taught me to not quit during those six minutes even when I was sure I would lose by the end of them. This has translated into not quitting amidst tough classes or other activities.”

But simultaneously, Pinho’s involvement in Iowa Youth Congress provided a healthy balance of mental and physical activities‒something that has been a key factor towards his success as a student. “While wrestling has taught me to not quit, Iowa Youth Congress has given me the opportunity to take my concerns and do something about them, to speak up for myself and peers. These activities have helped me decide to seek careers in political sciences, or business, areas where persistence and optimism define success.”

As Pinho stated, finding the right balance of sports and other activities can be a recipe for success in school. There are clubs of all varieties available for students to explore, and there is something to learn from each one.

Ella Rekow, a junior, has found her love for STEM through FIRST robotics‒ something she does alongside cross country and track. “I’ve learned how to use all types of tools and machines which has taught me how to build things,” she said. “I’ve also learned about computer science, which I would’ve never learned about to the level I have been able to in school. [Robotics] has helped me make the decision to major in computer engineering and electrical engineering.”

Perhaps the best way to justify different activities is through the type of impact they leave on the student. Being an athlete is something that defines how a person thinks. Sports teach one to persevere and work hard through adversity. Involvement in other clubs helps one apply that foundational thinking to something that can shape his or her future.

By balancing a variety of interests with school, students can not only find enjoyment and fulfillment but also set the stage for future success.