Pace of Life: Leave it to Us

As we are all aware, the Pace of Life committee is once again looking for ways to relieve our stress. One idea that has been proposed, or at least considered, is moving club meetings to the weekend. The logic seems to be that shifting club meetings to the weekends will leave students with more time to sleep. The extra sleep will enhance school and class work. However, moving events to Saturday will only serve to increase, rather than decrease, the students’ stress level. The proposed plan would give students a couple of hours of extra free time, but will not greatly change the pace of life during the week. Undoubtedly, these hours that might be gained will be used for socializing or extra studying, rather than sleeping. However, this plan will certainly have a negative effect rather than easeing the level of stress on campus. In my experience, required Saturday events add greatly to stress levels. As motivated as Andover students are, they push themselves hard to achieve. Inevitably, weekdays are filled with studying — an extra hour or two will not change that. If this new system were to be introduced, the weekend would be very different. Students will need to wake up to a fairly regimented morning and afternoon, running to club meetings and sports games, and then to hang out with friends on Saturday night. Sundays must be dedicated to work, as most teachers give larger assignments over the weekends. Relaxation periods will be constricted mainly to Friday and Saturday nights. Thus, even a few club meetings makes the weekend feel much more cluttered. The Pace of Life Committee worries that without structured weekends, students will make bad decisions and get themselves into trouble. Those who choose to make these unhealthy decisions will make them regardless of any policy change. The people that the new system would really harm are the hardworking, honest ones. Students need sufficient time on the weekends to enjoy time with their friends and have fun. It is crucial that students develop relationships and enjoy their teenage years while they can. The point of attending Phillips Academy is not to get into a high-profile college, but rather to learn, to experience new things, and to have a good time. Students need time to relax and revitalize for the upcoming week, so that they can excel academically. Club meetings on Saturday, though less intense, will have about the same effect as Saturday classes. Students do not want to get up Saturday morning and be bothered with requirements. Having attended an institution with school requirements every Saturday, I can assure you that this system results only in more stress. It is out of concern, therefore, that I petition the Pace of Life committee to consider the restraints put on students when weekends are more structured. The negatives of moving club meetings to Saturday certainly outweigh the positives.