How much is too much?

   At HR we really are ALL IN. According to the HR website, there are currently 21 sports and 40 clubs available for students to join. It’s great that students are taking advantage of these opportunities and exploring their passions, but it’s less great that students are also joining clubs that they don’t really care about or have time for. It’s crazy to think that being too involved might just be our downfall.

   Commitment is great, but overcommitment is not. “I don’t think that everybody is overcommitted,” Emily Muellenberg, social studies teacher said. “But I do think that there is a culture here at Highlands Ranch and it’s a double-edged sword.” It’s true. By joining clubs, students are discovering new interests and making new friends, but in doing so, they are also stressing out and left with no time to truly commit to anything.

   Audrey Ng, senior, is one of those students. Ng, speaking from personal experience as an AP student involved in many academic clubs, said, “It just accumulates to be a lot of work and I get tired and stressed out.”

   When you are leaving meetings early and arriving late to others, you miss out. In an effort to be involved, you’re barely involved in anything at all. As Muellenberg said, “The [students] do a lot of things okay instead of one or two things really well.” In this case, it really should be quality over quantity. 

   But I get it. Although being overcommitted isn’t an accomplishment, it can sometimes feel that way. “There is an unhealthy amount of pressure to get all of these cords and letters just to have something at graduation,” Ng said. “People want to look good, they want to look well-rounded, and have all of these accomplishments. It’s a big part of the school.”

   Cording is especially a determinant in deciding to become involved in a club. “I’m really disappointed by the cording competition,” Muellenberg said. “I think it’s important to be proud of your achievements and I think it’s important to recognize achievements, but I do think that the “game” of how many cords can I get ends up making this problem worse.” 

   Sometimes people get caught up in saying “yes” to everything, telling themselves that they can handle it all. In reality, sometimes the best thing to say is “no.” As someone who is overcommitted herself, Muellenberg said, “It’s really understanding and prioritizing my biggest passions like where can I make the biggest impact.”

   When you are so involved that you don’t have the time to be involved, there’s a problem. So I implore you, students of HR, to only commit to what you can actually commit to. As Muellenberg said, “Chill out everyone. You have your whole life to be busy and be adults.”

Annika Rennaker, Staff Reporter

Particpation by the numbers
Statistics from,, and (United States Census Bureau). Infographic by Annika Rennaker
Former HR students wore their cords with pride at graduation last May. (From Left: Jack Liu, Allison Stiles, Mayca Saavedra, David Choe, Jiawei Yu). Photo courtesy of Mayca Saavedra


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