Options For In-the-Middle Girls

Courtesy+of+Ursuline+Academy+of+Dallas+
Courtesy of Ursuline Academy of Dallas

Courtesy of Ursuline Academy of Dallas

Hannah Ni'Shuilleabhain

Hannah Ni'Shuilleabhain

Courtesy of Ursuline Academy of Dallas

Abigail M. '18, J1 Class

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On one end, we have the jock—the Ursuline girl who excels at all things athletic, loves her sport, and leaves everything out on the playing field. On the other end, we have the nerd—the Ursuline girl who takes all honors classes, loves to learn, and works tirelessly to achieve her great grades.

Many Ursuline girls embody these stereotypes, but what about the girls who fall in the middle?
Many students are passionate about both academics and athletics. In their middle schools, they could balance school and sports since neither were overly demanding. Transitioning into high school, students found that their sports and classes were more challenging and time-consuming, and understandably so, since they prepare students for college and have an impact on their futures.

To make school more manageable, Ursuline provides the option to either take honors classes or stay in regular classes. Dedicated athletes can take less-demanding classes to balance out their rigorous sports commitments. There are also many students with challenging academic course loads or fine arts-focused girls who like being active and playing on sports teams as well. These girls only have two options: they can struggle through a demanding sports season along with their other commitments, or they must stop playing the sport. If there are honors and regular classes at Ursuline, there should also be “honors and regular” sports.

Ursuline does have junior varsity teams, but just like the varsity teams, they have practices almost every school day with games or tournaments on the weekends. Lack of athletic skills is not the issue, but rather the hefty time commitment that Ursuline sports require. Ursuline sports seem to be crafted to fit only the needs of an athletics-minded student. Some girls strive to play sports on the college or professional level, and Ursuline’s excellent athletic teams help these girls reach their full potential, but many girls just want to be active, have fun, and benefit from the great friendships that Ursuline sports can provide.

To give options to the in-the-middle girls, Ursuline could offer one popular sport like volleyball that would have practices one to three times a week. The team could play in a lower TAPPS division like 2A or 3A. If that is not possible, the team could play in a YMCA league. Another option would be to have more than one of these teams at Ursuline and have them play against each other. Ursuline could also have sports electives like the yoga elective we have now.

Ursuline’s mission is “the total development of the individual student.” To succeed in this mission, Ursuline should help the smart but sporty girls just like it helps the sporty but smart girls.

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