By Chloe N. ’22
When it comes to being a freshman at Crystal, life is tough.
Add up a math quiz on Thursday, a biology test on Wednesday, and an English paper due Friday, and you’ll find yourself sucked into an unforgivable black hole of cramming and procrastination. During hard times like these, playing competitive sports outside of school seems impossible to balance. But somehow, the players on the freshmen volleyball manage to do it with determination and energy.
Gryphon Gazette asked some of these student-athletes a few questions about how they manage to get work done in such limited time, and what they think about their high school volleyball experience thus far.
According to these talented girls, playing competitive sports is a great way to make new friends. The volleyball program has given players an opportunity to strengthen old friendships and get to know new classmates. Players bond as they support each other from the sidelines, learn new skills, and suffer through conditioning.
Volleyball also gives players a chance to exercise their school spirit. While the freshmen team is playing at big tournaments or away games, the players can only feel pride with every point scored, or every match won, because they’re scoring these points and winning these matches for Crystal.
(Students also joked that apparently, playing school volleyball is also an excellent way to avoid getting the high school version of the “Freshman 15”, a term referring to the amount of weight gained during a student’s freshman year of college.)
Here at Crystal, we pride ourselves on our amazing cross country program. Why would these freshmen, who are totally capable of sprinting twenty miles, no sweat, bother trying out for volleyball?
Most of their answers included abuse of cross country in general, as well as a “burning hatred” of running. However, the overall response was a love of volleyball that couldn’t be topped. This love and passion was only intensified by the incredible program we have at Crystal. The players described the Crystal volleyball community as “a second family”. They love the camaraderie shared amongst players on and off the court, and the shameless high energy of the gym’s atmosphere during practices gives a warm feeling special to this sport.
While cross country and volleyball are both remarkable, why play a sport at all? These freshmen should already have enough on their shoulders, especially since these are their first weeks of high school. Crystal student-athletes are either really masochistic, insomniacs, or secretly have time-control powers.
Time-control powers sound cool, but it turns out most players use their study halls as wisely as possible. One player told Gryphon Gazette about how her prioritization of her work helps her get the most pressing assignments out of the way. She said to use study halls as a work period, rather than a relaxation period. If a concept is making it difficult to finish homework quickly, she advised people talk to their teachers during office hours. Trying to fit in a little bit of work whenever possible (in the morning, during study hall, even on the bus to games) has also helped her in the past.
When asked how they balance school work and volleyball, most of the players’ immediate answers were that they don’t.
Sarcasm aside, front-row player Fiorella looks ahead in her assignment calendar and gets the smaller assignments done first. That way, she tells Gryphon Gazette, she’ll have enough time to finish a project or an essay. One method that has helped her balance her work so far is finishing an assignment the day it was assigned, as well as setting a fixed time to complete her homework.
With the fall sports season mostly over, the freshmen volleyball team has an outstanding record of 9 wins and 3 losses. Given the close connections and academic skills of these well-rounded girls, it’s no wonder they are all doing so well.