How Much Too Much Is Too Much?

Rachel Katz


You see them everywhere, but they are mere blurs. You probably know who they are because you’ve seen them rushing madly about, dropping in on three, equally important
meetings. Maybe you’re at one of those meetings. If there was a 100 meter
hallway dash or a staircase hurdles race, these ladies and gents are your
safest bets. As you watch them practically fly down the hall, you can only gape
in awe. “How do they do this? Why do they do this?” you ask yourself. I’m not
talking about superheroes here. Nor am I talking about teachers. I’m talking
about your typical, run-of-the-mill overly involved NT student.

It’s safe to say that North Toronto has plenty to offer. In addition to its well-rounded course options and intensive academics, NT is simply bursting with clubs and teams that will pique whatever your interest may be. And if, like most people, you have more than one passion in your life, chances are you can find a way to fit a couple of clubs into your schedule. But what happens if you find yourself juggling five or six
extracurriculars? Seven? Eight?

Ladies and gents, that is the position I have found myself in this year. Spread over the course of the year I have been involved in six clubs and two teams. Each one of these depends on a commitment of time, energy and interest that can be stressful, exhausting and, at times, not as rewarding as one would like it to be. This begs the fairly obvious
question, “Why do it all? What’s the point of adding so much additional strain
to your life?” It is a very legitimate question, and it’s one I have asked
myself more than once. The truth is, sometimes I can’t come up with a
satisfying answer. Even now, I’m writing this article late at night on the long
weekend, trying to cram it in between homework, sleep and socializing. I find
that it’s only when I look back at a term or the year during a holiday that I
have a more firm understanding of my own decisions.

So why is it so enticing to be this involved with a school, a place you spend four, maybe five years at? I can’t tell you why the fashion show directors will spend sleepless nights putting together a proposal. Nor can I say what compels our lovely Graffiti editors
stay at school long past their bedtimes slaving away to entertain the rest of
us. What I do know is that you won’t know why these hard-working folks are so
dedicated until you get out of your comfort zone and join something new
yourself. Whether that entails skydiving or knitting, you usually can’t tell if
you’ll like something until you give it a shot. I’m not suggesting you need to
join ten clubs to be happy, but being a part of a club is like being a part of
a family. You see people at their worst and at their best and develop a sense
of what they’re like as a whole person, not just as that giggly girl in your
French class or that quiet boy in your home form. Essentially, you become a
driving force in North Toronto’s community, which you are already a member of,
just by attending the school.

I leave you now with a parting thought. If you are going to be at NT for the duration of your secondary school career, why not make your stay in North Toronto more interesting and fulfilling? Join a team. Join a club. Start a club. Start something. Just whatever you do, don’t wait until your youth is over to act young.