Extracurricular options abound

Dance, water polo, reenactments, and youth group give opportunities outside of Collegiate

Clare+Harbin+and+her+friend+during+a+May+Weekend.+May+Weekend+is+a+great+experience+for+youth+to+meet+new+people+and+form+friendships.
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Extracurricular options abound

Clare Harbin and her friend during a May Weekend. May Weekend is a great experience for youth to meet new people and form friendships.

Clare Harbin and her friend during a May Weekend. May Weekend is a great experience for youth to meet new people and form friendships.

Clare Harbin and her friend during a May Weekend. May Weekend is a great experience for youth to meet new people and form friendships.

Clare Harbin and her friend during a May Weekend. May Weekend is a great experience for youth to meet new people and form friendships.

Gabby Allen, Photo Editor

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Toes sore and blisters bleeding, arms burning and fingers pruned, a dribble of sweat dripping down the side of sunburned cheeks, all the while plastering smiles onto faces and embracing newly made friends. That is what it can feel like to commit to an extracurricular activity. Norfolk Collegiate students are already overwhelmed with after school and in school activities: sports, the arts, clubs, and even just plain schoolwork that takes hours upon hours every night to complete. Fitting in an extracurricular activity is difficult and, while Norfolk Collegiate offers an abundance of activities to students at school, many might find themselves seeking more than what the school has to offer. Most students already play a sport or are involved in organizations outside of school. For those looking for more to do or who want to branch out in their interests, there is no limit to extracurricular activities that are readily available in the Hampton Roads area. Though there are many extracurricular activities, here are a few ways Norfolk Collegiate students are involved:

Dance:
Whether it is tap, jazz, contemporary, or ballet, dance is always filled with determined students. Practices take hours at night, leaving students with tired eyes, sore bodies, and hours of homework waiting for them at home. Through injury, long hours, and a lot of dedication, dancers vigorously work up toward their competition days. Dance provides people with new opportunities and an option out of traditional sports. Do not be fooled by the elegance of dance, however, for it is just as physically draining as any other sport. The biggest challenge of dance, one might argue, is the commitment it requires. Practices can last until nine o’clock in the evening, sometimes later, and competition days are an entire day ordeal. Junior Grace Georgo, who has been dancing since she was four, advises that if someone is looking for an extracurricular activity in dance, they have to be able to commit to it.
“Dance can be very time-consuming,” Grace said, “as well as expensive and I think that one considering dance should really want to be there.”
Despite the struggles of being a dancer, people find the sport incredibly rewarding in terms of activity and friendships made. She said, “I have made many friends at dance, even some of my best friends that would later became my competitive dance trio.”
Though there is a lot of time and work to commit to dance, in the end it all pays off, junior Cecilia Innis promises, “While it requires a lot of dedication, don’t give up on it and work your hardest. Hard work, as with anything, pays off.”

Water polo:
Water polo, though it is just as rigorous as dance, is a little less time consuming. While professional polo players make the sport look easy, it is difficult to forget that players are constantly treading water and breaks in the water are impossible. Water polo leaves all athletes are left with pruned fingers, breathless lungs, and either the thrill of a win or a determination to improve. Water polo combines swimming, basketball, and soccer so it is safe to say that all athletes receive a vigorous workout. Sophomore, Ravi Palat, is involved with a water polo league, one of three in his Virginia Beach area. He encourages students to join.
“Definitely do it, it’s a lot of fun,” Ravi said and advises people to “Get involved with a rec league because it’s the easiest way to get involved.” In addition to practicing twice a week, Ravi also participates in competitive championship games, which he thinks are the best part of playing the sport.

Historical activities:
The two ultimate rivals in our nation’s history: The Union from the North and the Confederate from the South. Four long years of painstaking fighting and thousands of deaths as well as the deafening sound of gunfire and cannons came to be what is known as the Civil War. Soldiers suffered under heavy equipment and constant worry over the condition of their lives. Would they make it through the next day or would the enemy finally win? Though the North and the South have since then resolved their bloody differences, the exhilarating feeling battle is still not over for some. One of these people is sophomore Ethan Myers who has been participating in Civil War reenactments for over a year. Though some begin reenacting just for the joy of it, Ethan recalled why he began reenacting in the first place.
“I started almost immediately after my grandfather died. Before that, he and I would go to Shenandoah Valley and do reenactments ourselves…I just kinda picked it up.”
While Ethan loves to reenact, his biggest struggle is the uniforms as they’re very expensive. But there are also many people to help out if someone doesn’t have enough money. “Everyone is there to help you,” Ethan said, “a random guy I didn’t even know gifted me my entire uniform.” But, he advises, “Watch how much you’re willing to spend.” Ethan says he loves it all, especially a battle event that takes place annually in Plymouth, North Carolina. There, his group goes to the river and sets up a scene from the civil war, one side against the other. Though the weekend long reenactments and heat of war might not be for all, the Tidewater Maritime Living History Association (TMLHA), the group with which Ethan participates, does not meet very often so time conflicts are infrequent.

Youth Group:
Traveling in Appalachia, Virginia for weeks under the heat of the summer while suffering steep mountains and swarming mosquitoes just to give back to the impoverished community. Building wheelchair ramps and repairing houses for those with less and asking for nothing in return, the epitome of volunteer work, is just one example of an activity available when participating in a youth group. Mission trips are not uncommon to youth groups and joining a group is one of the easiest ways to get involved. When the term “youth group” pops into one’s mind, they might think it to be entirely about religion. And, though it is definitely related, there is more to a youth group than just that. Clare Harbin, a sophomore who is currently on the Episcopal Youth Community (EYC) board, divulges just some of the activities her youth group participates in. One activity is May Weekend which takes place at camp Chanco, located on the James River. During this weekend, members of different youth groups from all over Southern Virginia get to interact with one another and form lifelong friendships. Such a weekend is a religious experience with focus on how to help one another and how to give back to the community. Youth coming out of the May Weekend experience gain a lot more than expected.
Clare says she gained many valuable experiences from the weekend and from youth group in general. She said, “I went in thinking it would [just] be a community [experience] but I left with literally my best friend. I’ve gotten a lot more independence because I have the ability to lead the board and contribute to my voice and represent others. It [has] given me confidence.”
With effort and time put into these activities, not only will students meet new friends and find something exciting to do but they might also find activities that look fantastic on resumes. Though Norfolk Collegiate already offers many physically involved sports as well as many clubs and activities, there is an activity that takes place outside of a school atmosphere for everyone.

 

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