By Elana Zeltser
Courtney*, the athlete
When Courtney first began playing her sport in the fourth grade, she did not realize that it would become a year–round commitment for her. However, when she joined both club and Harvard-Westlake teams, practice became the main focus of her time and energy.
“I decided it was something I really loved to do and want to continue doing,” Courtney said.
While she also loves writing and plans to take the creative writing course next year, Courtney finds it challenging to balance the work load with her practice schedule.
“It is really tough because you really have to plan ahead,” Courtney said. “If you have a tournament that weekend, you have to get all your homework done Friday night.”
Now as she begins thinking about the college process, Courtney hopes to find a school where she can play Division III volleyball.
“It’s my dream to play in college,” Courtney said. “I’m talking to a lot of different coaches and trying to find a good fit for me.”
Francesca*, the all around
Carrying athletic equipment, sheet music and multiple binders and notebooks, Francesca’s backpack can get pretty heavy. She is head of a Harvard-Westlake club and is committed to arts, athletics, design and academics.
With five AP classes and two full-year electives lined up for next year, Fancesca said she needs to find ways to balance the load.
“It’s all about coordinating everything,” Francesca said. “I use my free periods to catch up on stuff and always have to stay up pretty late.”
Sometimes her multiple activities conflict, and she follows the guidelines laid out by the school to decide what takes precedence.
“For example, a playoff takes precedence over rehearsal, but a practice does not,” Francesca said.
She now understands the triumphs and stresses that accomapany a wide variety of activities.
“If a friend complains that they have too much work or practice or rehersal, I often have a frame of reference and can feel for them,” Francesca said.
Doug*, the brain
Doug flies through his avanced placment science homework afer quickly completing a math assignment.
“Even if I have a lab that takes a long time, it never feels that long to me because I really enjoy it,” Doug said.
In fact, Doug has always felt that his investment in his academic subject was his “thing,” he said.
“I have friends that are really into athletics, but I was never good at sports,” he said. “Some of my friends have played video games since they were born, practically, but I was never good at those either.”
Doug found that his talent lies in the sciences, particularly Chemistry and Biochemistry, and is considering the pre-med track for college. After touring colleges during spring break, Doug is still unsure what college he is interested in, although he knows he wants to be near a big city.
Arthur*, the artist
Arthur grew up taking tap lessons, playing piano and singing in choruses, but it was not until he came to Harvard-Westlake that he discovered his true passion was acting.
“It was doing the musicals and the plays and Summer Intensive Acting Workshop at Harvard-Westlake when I decided, ‘wait a second, I’m really clicking with this. This is really the sort of speaking to me in a way that other things haven’t,’” Arthur said. “I’ve been pursuing it, and now I want to pursue it forever.”
Arthur chose to fill up his course load with theatre and music based classes. He is taking our performing arts classes next year.
Striving for a career in theater, Arthur will apply to liberal arts colleges, acting conservatories and universities with specialized acting programs. Schools near theater hubs like New York and Chicago are extremely appealing to Arthur, he said. He is also tempted by a less focused college career to benefit his art in the long run.
“Acting is experience,” Arthur said. “If you experience something, you can better act it.”
*names have been changed