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Central Stampede

Athletics vs Academics

Camille Smaling

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Like any other high school, Portage Central is attended by a wide variety of students. The many definitive groups and cliques can make students feel like they have found a place where they can excel- whether they run cross country, perform in the musicals, take part in forensics, or participate in any of the other activities that our school has to offer. Although having a niche creates a feeling of belonging and brings joy to many students, it can lead to comparisons being made and rivalries between specific groups.

An example of different groups being pitted against each other is the recent conflict between athletic students and students who are very invested in academics. While both athletics and academics undoubtedly require a large amount of commitment, both sides argue that their end is the more strenuous of the two. Recently, a student at Portage Central pointed out that it is unfair for athletes to get full rides to the college of their choice when many other students with significantly better grades struggle to even get in.

Bill Duo, a IB Diploma candidate who is very invested in both sports and academics, argues that school is the more arduous of the two.

“With school, I have to worry about 7 different classes with hours of homework for each one,” Duo said. “With tennis, it is just one sport with one coach, which makes things much less complicated.”

This viewpoint is shared by many students who are heavily invested in academics; they believe that the mental struggle and time that is put into getting straight A’s cannot be paralleled by any amount of physical effort that is required in sports. Despite the IB Diploma and other challenging academic endeavours being all-consuming for some students, others still argue that sports can be more straining.   

“I have 2-4 hour long dance classes after school every day and coming home completely drained all the time makes keeping up with schoolwork, sleep, and a social life nearly impossible,” Junior Lianna Horn said.

Horn takes multiple IB classes while simultaneously participating heavily in her sport, and she believes that dance takes a larger amount of her time and energy than academics. Many students who spend significant amounts of time working on excelling in a sport would argue the same; physical labor can be more difficult than mental for some.

Although the debate over whether academics or athletics are more demanding will always exist, there will also always be students who manage to succeed in balancing both. Yes, the efforts of any student who shines in their field should be applauded, but the comparisons are not necessary. Academics and athletics are equally admirable occupations and both should be treated as such.

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The official source of student news at Portage Central High School
Athletics vs Academics