The toll of commuting

Malena Lilly '22, Staff Writer

Infographic by Malena Lilly ’22.

Many students commute on a daily basis for sports. For many people, sports are an escape from the stress of high school life.

Commuting for sports isn’t an issue for many students such as those in cross country, basketball, or football due to their practicing proximity. However, other sports tend to be less convenient, such as gymnastics, hockey or rowing.

“The commute for me is about an hour, I’m fairly used to it now but I think it can get stressful at times just because I’m not home, but I also am thankful,” Rybicki said. “For me, it’s stressful, but I also think it’s worth it.” 

The teachers who are involved in sports, like Mrs. Kline, are very understanding and will try to help with the work while a student is absent due to sports, according to Chloe D’vonch ’20.

“I do not think that all teachers understand or try to help students who have longer commutes for sports because they’re not involved in sports and they have a harder time feeling for these students,” Chloe D’vonch ’20 said

According to Chloe D’vonch ’20, talking to teachers prior to competitions and getting as much work done as possible is usually the best way for student athletes to stay productive when missing school. Furthermore, the balance between school and sports is a ratio every student athlete must determine for themselves as Rybicki does by dedicating her commute for gymnastics to school. 

“School always comes first for me, gymnastics is a really close second,” Rybicki said. “But with the long car ride I have, I’m always doing homework. If I see I have a test the next week, I’ll usually start studying over the weekend so I can get ahead. It’s mostly homework in the car and learning ahead. Sometimes I do stay up too late, but I don’t do that too often.” 

For students with an inordinately long commute or kids who don’t have an easy ride to get there, the drive can be the worst part of participation. A large amount of South’s student body is involved in a sport that’s not organized through South, according to Chloe D’vonch.

“I do not have a 7th hour,” Rybicki said. “I leave school around 2:10, 2:15 everyday. I do gymnastics during the week on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday. I also have to leave Mondays and Thursdays for physical therapy by my gym too.” 

The commute not only affects students’ lives, but it also impacts parents’ lives as well. Commuting makes it difficult for kids who don’t have a guaranteed ride, not to mention, gas is expensive, according to Chloe D’vonch.

Parents play a primary role in transportation to sporting events and competitions, according to Shawn D’vonch. Additionally, it seems that everyday he has something to do because Chloe’s transportation takes time out of his day.

“I think in Chloe’s case with rowing, South should embrace it a lot more because it’s a good sport for both girls and boys,” Shawn D’vonch said. “I think they should promote what the demands are. It takes a lot of strength between the students, that they are willing to take on a commitment like this plus their academics, so I think the school should be very supportive.”