Don’t force it

By Abbie Neufeld

At a recent practice, my water polo team was completing a pyramid style swim set.

Since it was one of the first practices of the year, after finishing the beginning of the set, our coach said we could move on or choose to finish the swim set.

Not being the biggest fan of swimming I would have moved on. However, after one person on my team decided to complete the set, so did everyone else.

At the beginning of practice, no one was too happy about the impending set, however once our coach gave us the option of stopping, no one wanted to quit.

Everyone thought that finishing it would be of benefit to themselves, and they were right.  

When people are forced to do something, they usually don’t look at the benefits behind it, however when given an option, people are more likely to weigh the pros and cons of the situation. As we progress through school, we are given more opportunities to make decisions for ourselves. However, those opportunities are often given too late, only in the upper echelons of high school.

This year in English class, someone asked if we had to take notes in our book. Our teacher said that, no we did not have to, but that it might be helpful.

This is the first time since middle school when I have not had to annotate my English reading.

Before I would mindlessly fill the margins of my book with scribbles of notes that didn’t mean too much. It was just to fulfill assignments and make sure my book didn’t look too empty.

However when I had the option to take notes, I felt like I could take fewer notes that were actually of more value to me. It is nice that as a junior I am given more options to decide whether something is beneficial to me or not. However, I think we should be given more opportunities to do this.

After all, high school is but a preparation for the “real world.” Accordingly, I think we should have more choices to make. For example, when we are forced to take news quizzes, people look at reading the news as a chore.

If people see life as a series of school assignments, they will not be able to make informed decisions when the time comes.