According to Burroughs’ current list of clubs, John Burroughs School is the proud host of 43 clubs as well as a few hypothetical/fantasy ones. While this looks good on paper, the reality is that most of our clubs are pretty low key things. Not to say that it’s bad to have a low key club, as the point of a club is just a casual group of people to do something that they’re interested in. However, there is a fine line between a casual group and a group that barely wants to do what they’ve signed up for.

This problem is more obvious in clubs that are more competition (or “doing stuff”) minded. The thing about us at Burroughs is that we pride ourselves on having a school that is difficult. Everybody likes to complain about how much work they did or didn’t do, or the number of tests that they have to take next week, or simply how hard everything is. The problem with this is that, in doing this, Burroughs forces its students to make schoolwork the primary focus of their life.

By putting so much emphasis on schoolwork, students receive the message that: “Attending Burroughs provides you basically everything you need to know to go on to be successful in life.” However, this is only partially true. While Burroughs does indeed give a lot of experiences to its students, it can’t do everything. By having students follow essentially similar curricula, it prevents students from being able to find their own hobbies and interests. This manifests itself in two ways: unmotivated students and students who haven’t figured out what they want to do.

Burroughs should loosen its grips on its students. It should stop trying so hard to be the center of all our lives and instead focus on helping us live the lives that we want to lead. This is not to say that Burroughs should offer a less rigorous education than it already does, but rather instead of making sure that each student undergoes the same Burroughs experience, it helps each student explore what they are interested in. It’s a lot to ask, but I believe that Burroughs is up to the challenge.