Striking a balance: Debaters discuss time management


From left to right, debaters seniors Kishan Srikanth, Danial Samani and Sankalp Singh work on pieces during their fifth period debate class. Photo by Rose Rana.

Rose Rana, Staff Writer

School can be difficult for many — add on the pile of extracurricular activities kids do in order to meet with the standards of most colleges, and time is hard to come by. According to senior debate students, trying to maintain a steady GPA while having to participate in other activities is an art that takes a while to master.

Debater senior Kishan Srikanth said that though he originally struggled to strike a balance between coursework and activities, he has now adjusted to the grind.

“Missing school definitely does make it harder to catch up, and weekends get stressful as well.” Srikanth says. “Initially my grades did suffer but I was able to get into the cycle of making up my work and working ahead of time so I don’t miss too much while I’m at the tournaments, so it’s preempting the work I’m going to get.”

According to Srikanth, missing school also takes up a lot of his free time in order to make up for the work that was missed in the past because of debate tournaments.

“Makeup work sometimes gets overwhelming, but it depends on if I miss a test during some weeks,” Srikanth said. “I know last year if I missed an American Studies project, I’d have to make up the whole thing on top of other additional assignments that were due Monday, and teachers would expect us to keep up with them in terms of deadlines. It was pretty overwhelming at times.”

Fellow debater senior Sankalp Singh said procrastination is the ultimate no when trying to stay on top of makeup work.

“The makeup work does get overwhelming to an extent, only if you procrastinate,” Singh said.”It gets overwhelming if you have to make up an entire day of school. If you’re a junior that’s seven classes, for seniors it depends on how many classes you have, but if you stay on top of your work, makeup work shouldn’t be overwhelming.”

Senior Danial Samani said he struggled with juggling school and extracurricular activities.

“Usually I’ll have a lot of make-up work for Physics C as well as Calculus BC but because the notes are direct I can usually pick up from where I left off,” Samani said. “In order to balance my extracurriculars with schoolwork, I’ll try to plan out my day to keep my priorities straight and make sure I don’t miss anything.”

Srikanth said he has created a routine to maintain his rigorous schedule.

“I try to spend one hour in the morning before school doing an extracurricular activity and one hour after school doing something excluding debate because I usually stay for debate every single day,” Srikanth said. “I try to balance extracurriculars and school because I think both are equally important.”

On the other hand, Singh said he prioritizes school work over extracurricular activities.

“If extracurriculars get in the way of my school work I usually have to sacrifice some time for it,” Singh said. “School work is usually more important, and it makes debate all that more enjoyable when I don’t have to worry about homework.”