"Participhobia" takes a toll on student body

"Participhobia" takes a toll on student body


"Participhobia" takes a toll on student body


Shaler Area offers nearly 50 different clubs and activities throughout the school year, covering a multitude of interests and hobbies. You would think that because of this, participation among students would be through the roof; however students and faculty have witnessed the degenerative epidemic of “participhobia” spreading throughout the building.

Everyone says that your high school years will be “the best time of your life”. For students who make the most of their time here, that may be true. As for students who do nothing it seems that they are the ones constantly preaching their disdain toward the school, but avoid getting involved in anything.

Getting involved in extra-curricular activities is one of the primary ways students can enhance the high school experience. Whether it be through clubs, sports teams, musical or the variety of options available, there are ways for each individual to do something of interest after school.

These interests ultimately establish connections to the school, but far too often students run out of the building when the final bell rings and head home without looking back.

I am by no means naïve enough to say that students don’t have other things going on after school or during the evening. Teenagers work after school, others catch up on sleep, and some have to watch younger siblings.

But going home every day and staying away from other students makes the high school experience miserable for everyone. There are no new personal relationships being made and no fun things being done during the short four years we have here at high school.

As I said before, the decline is evident. There have been significant declines in numbers for the Future Teachers of America, Future Business Leaders of America, and Ecology Club, just to name a few.

The Outdoors Club has yet to go spelunking this year due to lack of interest, and last year it was unable to go snow tubing. Recently, the once popular Ski and Snowboarding Club has gone from filling two full buses with participants to cancelling trips after not even being able to fill just one.

Homecoming is one of students’ favorite events throughout the school year, yet if it weren’t for a small number of students, it would not happen. Yet, the students who sit back and ignore the reminders of float construction and the activities leading up to homecoming expect that event to occur every year. If it didn’t, they would be the first ones to complain.

If clubs or sports aren’t for you, there are constant volunteer opportunities in the Activities office every single week! Volunteering doesn’t mean picking up garbage off the side of the road; some of the opportunities can actually be made fun, like Freshmen Orientation, Animal Friends, or even the Special Olympics.

For the freshmen, this is the first opportunity to try new things. You have so many chances in front of you, why not do something worthwhile? And for the seniors, this is your final chance to interact with people and participate in events.

Getting involved benefits everyone. It benefits the sponsor teacher because he/she can finally execute all of the plans and ideas he/she has for the organization. It benefits the students already involved because they can best experience it all, meeting new people and getting more opportunities. Most importantly, it benefits the newbies, who can finally look back at their time in high school and refrain from saying “I wish I would’ve done that when I had the chance”.

More than anything this new trend is just frustrating. Teachers see it, students see it, so when will kids finally reverse it and decide to get involved? I sure hope more people take advantage of these opportunities before there are no opportunities to take advantage of.


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