According to Census.gov, 42 percent of school-aged children participate in a sport, 30 percent were involved lessons and 30 percent were involved in clubs all whilst maintaining above a 3.5 grade point average.
“I started theater in eighth grade, StuCo freshman year, and I’ve been a part of sports since kindergarten,” Meg Putnam, 12, said.
Not only can multiple activities be time consuming, they also tend to be expensive, some range in to the thousands. The average teenager spends $1,200 to $1,500 a year on leisurely activities such as hanging out with friends which doesn’t leave much for anything else a teenager might wish to do with their money.
“Most of the time the cost is so spread out that I don’t really notice how much I am really spending. But when it comes to paying for lump sum things, such as I have to do for the theatre, I do realize the real cost,” Putnam said. “It makes me grateful that I can pay it, and it does motivate me to a point. Buying new cleats commits me to the season or else it’s a waste of money.”
Some students can not be apart of the activities they wish to partake in because of the cost.
The average student at Spring Hill involved in activities negotiates with guardians to figure out a way to deal with the cost, whether they split the cost somehow or their guardians sponsor the whole cost.
“I’m on the high school dance team and I also take classes once a week at Premiere Dance Studio,” Mallory Folkerts, 10, said. “High school dance is about $500, and the studio is about $1,080. I’m lucky to have my parents pay! I don’t think my parents mind the cost because they get to see me doing something I love.”
Folkerts then said she most likely wouldn’t participate if her parents didn’t pay for her activities.
Alec Hitchens is involved in several activitis throughout the school.
“The only club I pay for is Boy Scouts and it is $50 a month. My parents pay for this whenever they get their paycheck.,” said Hitchens. “The cost sometimes motivates me because I know my parents want me to succeed in life. [I’m so involved because]I don’t want to be left out of everything in high school.”
The busy schedules these students choose demonstrate passion and commitment for their activities and teams. That love sometimes translates into a bigger payout, but of course the cost of involvement may be later rewarded by scholarships or other opportunities.