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Great Neck South High School's Student-Run Newspaper

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Leveling The Playing Field: Committing to Clubs

Cartoon drawn by Angelina Wang

Cartoon drawn by Angelina Wang

By Elina Malamed

Staredown. The room fills with tension as the competition intensifies. There can only be one king of this court. With two shifts forward and one jump ahead, player one achieves the title of chess “grand master. ” Player two appears calm despite intentions of stepping up his game. Refusing to retreat, each player attempts to trick the other. Player two fakes right and moves left. The nerves kick in, causing the players to sweat through their shirts. The competition is only getting more heated. Player two takes the lead, and… checkmate! The victory is his. Hard work paid off.
At South, working hard isn’t an anomaly. However, could we be putting as much effort into clubs as we do sports?

While high school athletes spend hours a week training to defeat their opponents, club members tend to only meet once a week—at most. Does this mean that the work clubs do is considered less important than that of sports?

When you are a member of some athletics teams at South, you are expected to attend two-hour practices six days a week, a dedication that sometimes results in arriving home at nine after a late game, showing team spirit by wearing team clothing, and even baking food for a potluck. All of this time and energy is expended in order to raise team spirit and to make the school proud with victories. If clubs were to put this much dedication into their work, their accomplishments could have the potential to make great changes in both school and society

For example, Quiz Bowl could create a “Quiz of the Week” that could be completed during homeroom. This would motivate the school community to brush up on their facts and, perhaps more importantly, contribute to building a stronger school community.. The debate team could organize after-school seminars or even visit English or social studies classes to model civil discourse and encourage students to participate in disagreements that can advance our society. Perhaps the Harry Potter club could even come up with new sequels. No matter what club you are involved in, there is no limit to what you can accomplish.

Examining the culture at South, there are outliers in the club community. There are more popular clubs such as DECA, which draw more people, and therefore become just as, if not, more popular than some sports. However, this does not take away from the reality of many other clubs and their commitment levels. While browsing the school handbook, you can find almost 70 clubs listed, yet we’ve probably only heard of half—maybe. This goes to show that some clubs could be committing more to making more of an impact in the school. One way they could do this is by upping their game, literally, to match the time commitment of athletics.

It is important to evaluate to what extent you made the clubs you were involved in better. Would Steve Jobs have been so successful in innovating the company that we all practically depend upon if he didn’t focus most of his time and energy on developing and improving his corporation?

Once we find our passions, it could be worth it to encourage others to work harder on theirs. By putting the equivalent amount of time into clubs as we do sports, some clubs in our school could have the potential to become the next $13.3 billion corporation, like the National Football League (NFL).

Maybe it could be worth it to get some dedicated members of your club together and agree upon more frequent meetings. Your club can become a “sport.” Soon, maybe students, teachers, and parents will be cheering you and your fellow clubbies on as you accomplish all that is possible.

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