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Juggling priorities: the juggling they don’t teach you in middle school P.E.

By Kavya Iyer

The pitch black night sky gapes over the seemingly deserted neighborhood; the only beacons of life being the thin jets of light streaming from my classmates’ cell phones in a last-ditch attempt to help the dancers practice their formations and the actors read their lines. T-minus 12 hours until our class skit.

Rehearsing at Rainbow Park until nearly midnight, only for us to wake up again at 5 a.m. to go back. Fighting against time while scrambling to get all the decorations in place before the school showed up. Being delirious, adrenaline pumping through everyone’s veins as our class presents a united front, screaming as loud as possible during gauntlet. Homecoming is what sets Lynbrook apart from other high schools; there’s no doubt that we do homecoming the best (not biased at all obviously!). But what happens when there are so many things vying for your attention that you can’t take part in it?

I participated in homecoming during my freshman and sophomore years, as both a scriptwriter and a voice actor. During those two summers, I invested all my energy into doing the best I could, because I loved my class. I believed that the only way to show my class spirit was to be constantly involved in every activity, to be the one of the loudest at every rally, and for two years, that’s exactly what I did—until I couldn’t.

The summer after my sophomore year, I suddenly had multiple activities lined up, with no way to juggle them all. Middle school P.E. teaches you how to juggle objects, but nowhere had I ever learned how to juggle all the activities that I loved. I had to choose between two summer-long internships, dance commitments, orchestra commitments, homecoming preparations, responsibilities for the school’s newspaper, and tennis tryouts. I was determined to try to accomplish everything at once because these were all things I loved, but inside, I knew I wouldn’t be able to handle it. There was no way I could be in two, or sometimes even three places at once, so it was with a heavy heart that I chose not to participate in homecoming and to quit tennis.

Truth be told, I was so busy during summer that in the moment, I didn’t even remember that I was missing out on these experiences. I was at Stanford every Monday evening, commuting to UCSC on a daily basis, and at my dance studio during any other spare time I had. The path I wanted to take into the future became clear, and I discovered what I wanted to major in. I took two weeks off to fulfill my orchestra and newspaper commitments and before I knew it, I was back at school.

That’s when it really hit me.

Some reviewed dance choreography, while others frantically discussed script revisions. It felt as though everywhere I went, homecoming taunted me—all around me, yet so far from my grasp. However, I soon realized that a lot of this was in my head, and realistically, there were still ways for me to get in on the homecoming excitement.

It can seem as though there isn’t a single person at Lynbrook NOT involved in homecoming, but I learned that it’s actually the reverse. There are more people apart from the homecoming whirlwind than you would imagine. A lot of my friends weren’t participating, so when some were at lunch practices, I wasn’t left isolated.

I still woke up early the morning of homecoming to help out in the last minute of scramble of putting everything together. I was still able to get a taste of the excitement, still got to feel the adrenaline rush, still got to stand alongside my classmates and scream at gauntlet. I got to experience homecoming differently, and see my class skit with fresh eyes on the day of. I would have usually had the whole thing pretty much memorized at this point, but I got to take a step back, and this perspective actually made me love it even more.

I would definitely echo the sentiments of other students—that homecoming is one of the most defining events of the Lynbrook high school experience. Get involved in your first few years if you can, because that’s the blissful period of time where your workload is still manageable. But if you feel that you can’t find the time, don’t worry! There’s still plenty of ways to get involved, and just by being on campus, you’ll be able to experience the homecoming spirit. My advice—don’t juggle too many activities. Struggling to juggle objects is one thing, but commitments? That could have disastrous consequences, for both you and the activity. Try to pursue things that you genuinely love, or that you believe could clear confusion about your future, but don’t forget to still have fun!

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