Something Needs to Change with the Perception of the Ignatius Freshman

by Jackson Kenny ’26

“Don’t be the 3:05 guy.”

As I have acclimated myself to Saint Ignatius High School this year as a freshman, that’s a phrase I have heard countless times from many upperclassmen, faculty, and staff. 

This phrase is valid, and I understand the intent behind it. The reality is that many Saint Ignatius freshmen don’t bother to immerse themselves in the school’s myriad extracurricular opportunities aside from some sort of sport, and thus the need often exists for reminders like this. 

But what about the 6:00 or 7:00 or 8:00 guy? We don’t hear as much mention of these students and how they’re managing the school/life imbalance that can result from a commitment to extracurriculars.

I have been fortunate enough to take advantage of many extracurricular opportunities at Saint Ignatius: the Harlequins, Policy Debate, and writing for The Eye are activities that require a significant amount of time and a significant investment of energy both of which can be difficult to muster when combined with a course load filled with honors and AP classes. 

The ramifications of all of this can mean different things for my fellow freshmen whom I know are also working to maintain a healthy school/life balance, but for myself, at least, it results in days of non-stop activity leading to a mental and physical burnout that makes accomplishing homework and even leisurely activities over the weekend impossible.  Instead, I have to lay down and do absolutely nothing in a desperate attempt to regain lost energy, thereby becoming the 3:05 guy I dreaded to be, in a way.

My sentiments aren’t shared by every freshman involved in multiple, energy-draining activities at Saint Ignatius. Miles Juhasz ‘26, the other Saint Ignatius freshman in the cast of Something Rotten!, the spring musical, spoke to me about how he’s managed to find a balance: “Although [the show] can cause stress by making [me] tired or nervous about getting everything done in time for the show, it has still caused me to grow as an actor and a person in general, because I get to spend my time with amazing people.” However, it could be a good time for Saint Ignatius to re-evaluate the way it perceives the work/life balance of incoming freshmen. Nothing would make me happier than if Saint Ignatius were to take precautionary measures against freshman burnout while still promoting extracurricular involvement. 

As I have learned throughout my time here thus far, Saint Ignatius High School is a wonderful place filled with so many wonderful people and opportunities. I encourage any freshman that hasn’t gotten significantly involved with extracurricular activities to do so. Still, the Saint Ignatius community could be more aware of the struggles that freshmen who listen to the constant pleas to get involved face for simply following instructions and find ways to acknowledge and be more supportive of the realities those students face in their daily lives.