Clifton College Website

Student Contributions

Zoe Ward
Upper Sixth
Worcester House

A Clifton lifestyle: how much is too much?

A Clifton lifestyle: how much is too much?

Ask any Clifton College pupil how they’re feeling in the run up to the end of term and their answer will undoubtedly always be this: “tired”. Why do Clifton pupils year in year out become relentlessly run down and exhausted? I suspect the San are fed up with telling teenagers with colds and tiredness symptoms “Have two paracetemol and you’ll be fine”. At the end of the day, Clifton will always be Clifton. Clifton isn’t a school; it is a way of life. It isn’t the usual 9-5, 5 day week. It is 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for the large majority of us, pupils and staff included. So the question I am asking is: how much is too much?

To demonstrate how busy a Cliftonian’s week is I shall tell you all the events that took place last week: School Play every night, Modern Languages Film Society, Senior Mathematics Challenge, Rackets vs Eton, Philosophy Society, Duke of Edinburgh training, County Netball Tournament, Christian Forum, Fencing vs Marlborough, UWE and Wycliffe, Pre-Lim Regional Hockey Tournament, Physics Olympiad, House Debating, Sailing, Hockey vs Dean Close, Rugby vs Blundell’s, Remembrance Day Service. Oh and don’t forget the A Levels and GCSEs that we are all studying for; an average Block II pupil had 1520 minutes sitting in a classroom last week (38 lessons). No wonder people are flagging and are praying that Christmas would come sooner!

Fundamentally, academia is the most important endeavour at Clifton. We come to school to study and to achieve qualifications but … at Clifton there is more to it than that. Of course one attends lessons every day and one does hours worth of prep every night, but at Clifton you have a well-rounded and balanced school career. There is always something going on that anyone of any age can find and immerse themselves in; Clifton is extremely accommodating (there is even a House Backgammon Tournament).

Some may say it’s not right, academic studies should be the only issue on the agenda, if students are getting tired, or have to miss lessons for example to go to a Netball Tournament, then they shouldn’t go to the said tournament. But is this really true? I for one would much rather have had a school career that was jam-packed and full of things to do, than remember thinking I spent all my free time studying because there was nothing else to do. Of course don’t get me wrong, studying is imperative. For example all the talk of Upper Sixth at the moment is UCAS-related, which would be redundant if it was not for studying. So of course, one always makes time for work … even if it has to be after one’s music or sport commitments.

Hence, how much is really too much? Is there a too much at all? I know I would rather be worn-out and excited for the holidays having been rushed off my feet for the entire term, rather than having had a relatively undemanding term and not really bothered about whether it was time for Christmas or not. So despite the amount of sneezes, and yawns floating around School at the moment, and indeed every year at this wintery time, maybe they’re worth it? When one comes to Clifton, one knows it’s going to be a hectic journey, so why not jump on and just enjoy the ride rather than trying to avoid it — just remember to smile ☺☺

17 November 2011

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