The Balancing Act: Academics, Leadership and Extra-Curricular Activities

The Balancing Act: Academics, Leadership and Extra-Curricular Activities

WAB is a big advocate of holistic education, which means students are not only given the chance to thrive through rigorous academics where every learner is supported, but also through the many extracurricular activities that all students have access to.

But how do students balance good academics with their passions outside of the classroom? For students who are starting to get involved in high-level competitions like APAC for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic, that is a particularly pertinent question.  

In this week’s WAB Podcast, Grade 12 students Eric and Matilda reflect on their current leadership roles in basketball and theater, how they’ve grown over the course of their four years in High School and how they balance it all.

“I plan my IB courses around what I'm really passionate about. I take two higher level of arts, which has been incredible because it means that I’m not only in a community that understands the pressures of having to do extracurriculars and applications and auditions for schools, but at the same time it’s going towards building myself as a better artist, actor and musician,” said Matilda.

Also weighing into the conversation this week is Ben O’Brien, who is the Director of Student Support Services, ES Counselor and Boys Basketball coach.

“We see kids not just in their academic capacity and in the classroom, but we really try to see them as the human beings they are, and make a very human-centered school. An important part of that is understanding that people have passions and things that they're interested in and wanting to pursue, whether that's in arts or service or sports,” he said.

Reflecting on WAB’s role in supporting students’ extracurricular passions, Grade 12 student and Senior Boys Basketball said:

“The community here and the schedule is really great: there's a mentor time and there's Day 9. The IB Diploma, APAC, whatever you do like, nothing's easy, but WAB structures the schedule so that students can really optimize their time efficiently. This takes a lot of pressure off of the students. Being in the IB DP, this has been very helpful.”

Stay tuned as we discuss all the above in detail and hear advice from Eric and Matilda for younger students who may want to take on bigger roles in their clubs in the coming years.