Saturday, January 20, 2018

Largo High IB students take on a balancing act

Life for the average International Baccalaureate student is a constant balancing act between school, sleep, keeping up a social life and any other obligations he or she may have. If IB students are lucky, they're able to pick two of the options above. Having good grades and a booked social calendar often means running on the bare minimum hours of sleep.

Despite their hectic academic schedules and the stigma of intelligence automatically meaning a lack of athletic ability, some brave IB students choose to take on playing a sport for their school. From football to basketball to volleyball, there are IB students represented in nearly every sport at Largo High, proving the stereotypes wrong.

"Balancing IB and sports is difficult regarding time management," says Erica Higginbotham, a junior who is a member of the varsity girls soccer team, which recently finished the season after making it to regionals. "If you love something, then you make it work because it's worth it," she said.

While some students show off their talents on the soccer field, others choose to get their workout in the water. Nhu Doan and Brendan Haviland, who are juniors, joined the swim team when they were sophomores and have been dedicated to the sport ever since. In addition to being a member of the swim team, Haviland is also the captain of the diving team.

"I would bring my textbooks and homework to swim meets that lasted the whole day but gave up on trying to study after I found that it was impossible to concentrate during the chaos of a swim meet," Doan said. "On one occasion, my calculus homework almost fell into the pool."

Doan considers it difficult to deal with her challenging IB courses and swimming, but she couldn't imagine doing anything differently.

Tackling the misconception that sports and IB can't go together, Haviland explained that "IB is a rigorous program, but you can still play sports as long as you know how to manage your time."

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