Off to the races: BSM’s fast pace

Just as you finally get the printer to spit out the last page of your English essay, you hear it. The 7:55 trumpet blares out of the speakers, so you rush to grab all of your belongings and get to your first hour before you can be counted as tardy. You’re off to the races.


kendel malcom

graphic design by ryan appelhof

Between before school meetings, the regular school day, and after school practices, BSM students are constantly moving. The BSM website boasts that more than 90 percent of students participate in one or more extracurricular activity. A recent Knight Errant survey revealed that out of 400 respondents, 70 percent reported being involved in three or more clubs.

As schedules get filled to the brim, homework and sleep usually take the hardest hits. “I do my homework during other classes and during my free hour,” said senior Mimi Burns, who is the vice president of Medical Club, vice president of Knightlife, tutoring chair of NHS, Commissioner of Publicity for Student Council, leadership chair for Ascension Peace Dinners, and captain of the varsity track team.

“I sacrifice sleep––I always make sure I get all of my homework done. I go to bed super late so I can manage to fit everything in in one day,” said junior Abbey Nichols, who is on dance team, track,  RKVC, Knightlife, NHS, NLHS, Math League, History Club, junior Class Board, and Link Crew.

According to the Mayo Clinic, teens aged 13 to 18 need at least nine hours of sleep per night. This amount of rest appears elusive for BSM students, with nearly 87 percent of students reporting getting under eight hours of sleep per night. Within this number, 26 percent of students say they get fewer than 6 hours per night.

Obviously, not every student is kept up solely by activities and school work, but the amount of time students spend doing something is still shocking. “Most days I have to get into school early. I go through all my classes, then I have debate until 4 or 4:30, and then I have mock trial until 7. After that I volunteer until 8:30. Depending on what day it is, I could be here for 13 hours,” said freshman Ben Larson, who participates in Debate, Mock Trial, RKVC, Student Ambassadors, volunteering, and Knightlife.

graphic design by ryan appelhof
graphic design by ryan appelhof

An overwhelming 84 percent of students said they consider themselves to be a busy person. “I think I’m a busy person… the balance between school, clubs, sports, and music outside of school can add up sometimes,” said sophomore Elizabeth Kupchella, who is active in Math League, cross country, Justice Club, Mock Trial, music, and volunteering.

So why are BSM students so constantly active? “I know that it will be really good on a college application and it’s good for exploring your different interests so you know what kinds of jobs you would want to go into,” said Nichols.

“Among students there is a competitiveness around leadership; I wouldn’t say that it is some big competition,

graphic design by ryan appelhof
graphic design by ryan appelhof

but there is definitely pressure to be involved,” said Kupchella.

This pressure manifests itself throughout the school day too. “I think the eight period day might be part of the pressure, but I also think it’s just the high achieving nature of a lot of the students at Benilde,” said English teacher Ms. Sonja Saunders.

At the end of the day, however, students themselves choose how to spend their time. “You choose how busy you want to make yourself,” said junior Brooke Stanley, who is involved in soccer, basketball, track, cross country, Knightlife, RKVC, Student Council, Medical Club, Math League, Spanish Club, NHS, Students for Human Life, and Link Crew.

“BSM as a whole is busy but individuals can choose what they want to be involved in, so they can limit how overwhelmed they could become,” said Nichols.