The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

Students seek balance to ace academics and cultivate passions

Emma Wu
Students must learn to balance stressful classes, personal hobbies, and extracurriculars as they begin adding to their high school resumes in preparation for college applications. “It’s important to have that balance of doing something that you love, but also doing something that challenges you,” said Daivik Vennela.

Extracurriculars and the wide variety of classes available at Carlmont allow each student to have a unique high school experience. However, balancing the activities they enjoy and the activities necessary for college is a difficult task. 

Carlmont offers various courses, including electives, honors, and Advanced Placement (AP) classes. From career-oriented courses such as Introduction to Business and Journalism to art classes like Ceramics and Photography, students can explore their interests. 

“High school is a really good time for students to figure out what they’re capable of and explore different things,” said Andrew Kahn, a counselor at Carlmont.

However, this variety causes many students to overload their schedules with challenging and diverse classes.

For example, Claudia Williams, a sophomore at Carlmont, goes to the Performing Arts practice rooms to practice her cello as soon as the final bell rings. After rehearsing, she heads to the library with her friends to continue her studies.  

“When I was a freshman, I tried to push myself really hard. It got to the point where I started struggling because I was so stressed,” Williams said. 

Carlmont Student Schedule by Emma Wu

In addition to the six or seven classes that students take daily, many continue their day with other activities for various reasons. Some students do extracurricular activities to relieve stress and spend time with friends. 

For senior Daivik Vennela, as soon as the clock strikes 2:48 p.m., he heads to Mathnasium to begin his shift. In addition to working as a tutor, Vennela is also on Carlmont’s varsity baseball team.

“The days that I would go to my workouts would be such a fun environment. It was a really exciting experience to be there with your team and working hard toward a certain goal,” Vennela said. 

Meanwhile, as Vennela rushes out of school to get to his shift, freshman Nehir Hosgur stays behind for her seventh-period geometry class. Hosgur is a member of Carlmont’s drama program, which qualifies her to take seven classes instead of the conventional six.

Although participating in school productions can be an exciting and thrilling experience, it is also very time-consuming.

“The play made my days more stressful because we had rehearsal almost every night,” Hosgur said. 

From a school counselor’s standpoint, students begin to take more difficult classes in later grades. They also begin to stress about creating an impressive college application. 

“A lot of students take harder classes because of their own internal pressure, and they want to make their application for college look the best that it possibly could,” Kahn said. 

In addition to choosing more challenging courses, some students start and continue extracurricular activities with college in mind and begin to build up their high school resume and college applications. 

As she gathers her things from her last class, junior Kyra Campbell is preparing to head toward her ballet studio for a lesson. There, she dances for four hours before heading back home to finish the homework from her six classes. 

“Colleges like to see that you’re committed to one thing, and I’ve been doing dance for 12 years, so I kind of have to keep going,” Campbell said. 

Although high school is stressful for students, many students and teachers alike believe finding a balance is crucial. According to Vennela, having activities that you enjoy and that look good on a resume can help prevent stress and allow for more fun in students’ lives.  

“Find activities that you truly have fun doing, and a lot of the time, those are the activities that you will excel in. They will help alleviate certain aspects of your stress,” Vennela said.

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About the Contributors
Emma Wu
Emma Wu, Staff Writer
Emma Wu (Class of 2026) is a sophomore who enjoys playing the violin, traveling, and painting. She is a campus writer who focuses on local events and is excited to expand her knowledge of the culture and people around the Bay Area. You can find her hanging out with her friends, going to an orchestra rehearsal, or planning her next trip.
Linda Reeder
Linda Reeder, Staff Writer
Linda Reeder (Class of 2026) is a sophomore and this is her first year in Carlmont journalism. She is a staff writer who covers campus news. She enjoys baking, reading, pilates, and hanging out with friends.

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