The Student News Site of Center Grove High School


The Student News Site of Center Grove High School


The Student News Site of Center Grove High School


A balancing act

An inside-look at the daily trials student-athletes face with their sports and education
Emily Rich
Students like senior Chloe Wilhelm face a daily balancing act of their extra-curriculars, sports in this case, and their education.

Walking wearily to her car, her backpack weighs heavily on her shoulders. In one hand she holds a pair of sneakers and in the other she juggles her car keys, her phone and her lunch bag between her fingers. Despite her exhaustion, she has hours of practice to look forward to. For seniors Ella DeWitt and Chloe Wilhelm, being a varsity athlete along with a high-achieving student is a never-ending juggle.

Both Wilhelm, a varsity dance team member, and DeWitt, a varsity soccer player, agree that the hardest thing about balancing academics and athletics is the time commitment it requires.

“It’s hard to find time to really focus on my school work and really focus on excelling in athletics,” Wilhelm said. “You want to do really well at those competitions, but you have to take a certain amount of time to work hard and prepare for those and it can take away from school. It’s just finding a balance and really pushing to do well and achieve good things in both aspects.”

In order to excel in both aspects, DeWitt had to go out of her way to make time to accomplish all of the things she had to do, even if that meant sacrificing her sleep.

“A lot of times, because I take a lot of AP classes, I have to get to school early so I can either get help from a teacher or just go over certain things that I don’t understand,” DeWitt said. “But I feel like the time that I went into school early and would stay after school late and would get help from another teacher really helped me, even though it sucked getting up [early] and staying late.”

Achieving a lot can come with sacrificing a lot. For DeWitt and Wilhelm that might mean sometimes missing out on the teenage experience.

“I’ve definitely had to miss out on doing group hangouts and stuff like that, but that doesn’t really bother me because I love my sport and to me, that’s still hanging out with my other friends,” DeWitt said. “But I’ve realized more that I have given up ‘me-time,’ I guess. I love to read and I don’t have a whole lot of time to do that. I also like to cook, and I don’t have a lot of time to do that either, but I have been incorporating that more into my schedule.” 

At times, carrying the weight of being both a high-achieving student as well as a varsity athlete can take a toll on their mental health. Between calculus tests and game days, life for DeWitt and Wilhelm can get stressful.

“If I’m having a rough day at school or when I feel like I’m behind in my schoolwork, I can go into practice already being stressed out and that practice just maybe isn’t as productive as I’d like it to be because I’m kind of occupied,” Wilhelm said. “It can also be the other way. If we had a tougher practice and it was a lot of new material and our dances were changed, it can take more time at home to review those changes and I don’t get to do my homework because I have to spend more time with dance. It’s definitely very closely connected.”

Despite at times sacrificing their social life and their sleep, Wilhelm and DeWitt find ways to cope with their busy schedules and make time for themselves.

“When I get home from practice on Fridays, that’s my day to kind of reset,” Wilhelm said. “I will get all my laundry done, clean my room, and kind of do a reset like that. Saturday, if I’m lucky and I’m not competing, I get to be more social and I get to do some things that I want to do.” 

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