New Member
Jun 13, 2017
So next year, my sophomore year of high school, I am planning to take many different extracurriculars, but I'm not sure if I'll be able to balance them all.

I'm planning on being involved in JROTC Raiders, Model UN, and Cross Country. I might also take an AP class on top of it. My concern is if I'll have enough time to do all of them. Cross country is a few hours after school most days of the week, but I need it because West Point values varsity sports. JROTC Raiders meets once or twice times a week for a few hours after school, but it is important because my goal is to become team captain of the Raiders. Model UN meets once every week or two, but is important because I have a good shot at becoming an officer in it too.

Do you think it would be manageable to take all of these, or should I drop something? They all seem so important to me! Help!
I personally think it's manageable. I had literally 0 ECs when I finished high school. In college, when it's even MORE stressful and harder to balance stuff, I piled on 24 hours each semester, at least 3 ECs, and am doing ROTC on top of all of it. I turned out pretty well my first year.

So in short: push yourself, because you'll literally never know what you can accomplish if you want it. But if it starts to be too much, drop it to where you're comfortable
I agree with Armycadet, I personally think you will be able to manage three ECs. My advice would be to try them out and, if you feel you're becoming overwhelmed and/or your academics are suffering because of it, decide which activity you would no longer like to participate in. That being said, involvement in these activities is going to teach you much more than how to run, how to lead, or current events affecting the world. These activities, combined with your schoolwork, are going to force you to learn time management skills and how to prioritize requirements. Any SA or SMC is going to demand excellence in multiple areas including academics, military requirements, and physical fitness. Any active duty service, whether it's the Army or the Coast Guard, is going to demand the same, especially as a JO. On my ship, you were expected to stand multiple watches a day, lead a division, and manage several collateral duties. That was outside of emergencies, last minute mission tasking or random projects our XO decided needed to get done. If you can learn the skills now, they will go far in helping you succeed later.

One thing to think about: you state that XC and the Raiders both meet after school. Is there a conflict in practice times? How are you going to manage your commitment to both if there is? Will participating in both activities if there is a conflict effect your ability to become captain of either team? Just a few things to think about. Good luck!
The reality is that right now you are thinking about how to get an appointment to West Point. Extracurriculars are important if they show leadership, but I think too often kids load up on things which might not truely make an enormous difference in the WCS equasion. Most important for getting an appointment is maintaining excellent grades, and rank very high academically. You also need high ACT/SAT scores. So nothing you do should compromise those objectives. Varsity team sports are very important, and leadership within those sports, and other activities. The academies look to the traditional student government officer spots, like student council and NHS primarily, but do also consider other clubs and activities as a supliment; particularly if other roles are absent.

As a sophomore you have time to work on achieving some of those big point items for your WCS. Work on getting an officer spot on student council and NHS. Stay with the cross country, but try to add another varsity sport. Grind hard on getting top grades and great scores on the ACT. Take this test as many time as you can.

I'm not saying abandon the idea of model UN. Just suggesting that there is probably more value in other things if you can get them. Also, dont overload yourself to the extent that your grades suffer, or that you are not working on the ACT SAT scores. Nothing is more important than those scores on an Academy application.