The Student News Site of Boston Latin School

The Argo

The Student News Site of Boston Latin School

The Argo

The Student News Site of Boston Latin School

The Argo

Function or f(x)?

Some+students+choose+a+social+function%2C+others+enrich+in+f%28x%29.+%28Source%3A+Parker+Hastings+%28I%29%29
Some students choose a social function, others enrich in f(x). (Source: Parker Hastings (I))

One’s teenage years are arguably the most challenging period of their life. Not only are adolescents expected to thrive academically and prepare themselves for their future endeavors, but they must also excel socially — because what is high school without friends? Boston Latin School students are no exception to this inevitable struggle, having to balance unbearable workloads, frequent exams, competitive peers, overwhelming extracurriculars and countless social events. 

When looking at the School community, it is evident that students lie across the entire spectrum of prioritizing academics versus their social lives. Some gravitate toward the extremes while the vast majority remain in the middle, dipping their toes in both sides. 

By restricting themselves to either side of the spectrum, however, youth are neglecting opportunities and experiences that the other side offers — potentially missing out on a new passion. Katherine Martin (I) says, “Some people get too involved in school and some people don’t focus on academics at all and they only try to have fun. But that’s very short-term happiness, whereas I think academics is more long-term happiness.”

Although finding a balance may seem nearly impossible to achieve, it is more important that students recognize a healthy equilibrium and actively work towards it. By striving to have a good work ethic and practicing efficient time management, both academic and social success will seem much more achievable. 

Many, however, dwell in the comfort of sticking to one side because this precarious balancing act comes with numerous sacrifices. For instance, if a student has an important history exam coming up, they should consider whether or not that party is truly worth attending. 

Likewise, if it is Friday night and a student wants to spend time with their significant other, they could push off homework to the weekend. It is these choices that require bargaining and responsible decision-making that accumulate to a balanced social and academic life.

Struggling to balance work and fun is a persistent conflict occurring throughout generations. BLS World History teacher Mr. Nicholas Fogel advises, “Get good at doing what you’re doing. If you’re working, work and get it done. If you’re not, don’t think about it and hang out with your friends — enjoy that experience and invest in those relationships.” 

Students should also adopt an open and curious mindset so that they may pursue what they consider worthwhile. Finding things that one genuinely enjoys participating in, whether it be academics, sports, extracurriculars or social outings, is the key to success. 

Jialin Chen (I) reflects, “At the very start, I was like, ‘School’s important. I’m gonna do this and this and this to be successful.’ But at this point I’m like, ‘Yeah, I’m doing all this stuff, but it’s because I like doing it and I want to have as much fun as I can while doing whatever I’m doing right now.’”

In a school as demanding as BLS, it is easy to hyperfixate on the future and fall into the routine of simply going through the motions of daily life. By doing so, however, many fail to recognize the little things that make life fruitful.

As cliché as it may sound, the present is here and it is now. These six (or four) years at BLS may seem miniscule in comparison to the rest of our lives, but we only experience this once. So live in the moment, take advantage of every opportunity and be open to pushing yourself outside  your comfort zone.

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