RAHS students quickly realize that the contract they signed at the beginning of freshman year includes spending many early mornings and late nights at RAHS. With school taking priority, people with a lot of activities don’t have time or the energy left for their families.
According to the Student Handbook, RAHS is known by the public for “preparing all students for college, career, and citizenship through a rigorous and relevant course of study,” but this often translates to the students as an overbearing workload.
For the kids in special situations such as those who do not live at home, this takes an even bigger toll.
“I have so much homework on the weekend that I can’t even skype with [my family],” said Yehya Elmasry, sophomore exchange student from Egypt who is quickly adjusting to the RAHS lifestyle.
Elmasry is not alone. Students are forced to become expert time managers once their four year countdown starts. To make the balancing act even tougher, it is the norm at RAHS to join clubs and do extracurricular activities.
“So I wake up at 4:30, get ready for school,” said Grace Cieszkiewicz, a senior known for mastery of time management. “Jazz band starts at 6:30, symphonic band starts at 7:30 and that goes until 8:20. Then I catch the bus from Highline to Aviation. Then I enjoy a regular school day. Then robotics starts at 6.”
Cieszkiewicz has the overwhelming-themselves-with-stuff bug that RAHS students are infected with. It is not uncommon for RAHS students to deal with multiple activities, as unlike most teenagers, the students here have a crazy hunger for learning.
“It gives a very sick twisted sense of euphoria whenever I get more work,” said Ethan Hunt, a junior who is taking three AP classes and is a devout Robotics member. “What is the point of school without work?”
While the “high” on school work will take up most of the time of RAHS students, there are serious drawbacks. Studies done by Pew Research Center (nonpartisan American demographic research center) have discovered that 33% of parents don’t spend enough time with their children which is most likely reciprocated with students at RAHS.
“You start noticing how you’re becoming distanced from your parents more and more as you become busy,” said Cieszkiewicz, “making time in my schedule for parent interaction is really important to me and I’ve been trying to do that more.”
Luckily, this time of the year provides that extra time that everyone is craving to be with their family.
A vast majority of RAHS students use the holiday break to catch up with their family, but many others end up using their time to finish all of the work that needs to be done in time for school.
“I’d like there to be some sort of cubicle that I could do school work in away from people,” said Hunt. “I love spending time with my niece and nephew, but sometimes my family is like nutmeg, a little bit is fun, but just a tad too much is overwhelming.”
There’s a fine line between spending time with family and keeping up with classes for RAHS students. According to Hannah Tobin, a sophomore who often travels back home to Wenatchee, homework takes up a lot of her family time.
“It doesn’t completely make up for [the lost family time], just going home on the weekends,” said Tobin, “but it helps a lot more than someone would think because actually [spending time with them] makes it all the better.”
Tobin, like many other RAHS students, will do a little stressing and a little relaxing this upcoming holiday break.