KAMSC Students Leave the Institution In Search of A Social Life


The Loy Norrix underclassmen KAMSC students arriving from the Center to take their regular high school courses. Their average day consists of attending classes at two separate educational institutions.
Photo by Sydnee Stannard

By Hannah Reinhold

As a student or teacher in the Kalamazoo Public School district, you may notice the intelligent, hardworking students that have been accepted to and attend the Kalamazoo Area Mathematics and Science Center. You may also observe their management of their leisure time, which is quite minimal. The unfortunate fact is that these hardworking students rarely have time to participate in social events without the pressure of all the responsibilities from their KAMSC studies.

Some Loy Norrix students that also took courses at KAMSC have made the decision to drop their courses at KAMSC due to the extreme pressures and responsibilities placed upon them. High school is a period in their life when students should be given the opportunities to handle both a challenging education and a social life.

One student who made the decision to leave KAMSC is senior Nils Miron. Miron started out at KAMSC as a freshman who was eager to learn; however, he soon discovered that his KAMSC teachers’ expectations were far too extreme for the unique array of students to achieve.

Nils Miron explained that he felt the teachers at KAMSC were assuming that the students were independent enough to learn without much guidance. Miron made the decision to leave the Math and Science Center his sophomore year. He explained that he felt no reflection of the work he was putting forth in the grades he received.

After dropping the courses, Miron became more involved in extra curricular activities like volunteering for Peacejam, joining Loy Norrix’s forensics team and improvisation team.

“Dropping out [of KAMSC] is not the end of the world,” exclaimed Miron, “it isn’t going to affect you negatively.”

As a freshman last year Hannah McDonald Campbell struggled with the transition into high school, juggling varsity sports and on top of that, rigorous KAMSC courses. She decided in December of her freshman year that she wanted to drop her courses at KAMSC in search of a less stressful educational career.

Campbell received a call in June of last summer from a staff member at the Math and Science Center inquiring on her plan to return to the Center in the upcoming school year. The caller appeared surprised with Campbell’s response and following the conversation that was held on the phone Campbell received a lengthy packet that surveyed her for her reasons for leaving the institution.

For Campbell, a regular weeknight last year involved about one to four hours of studying only for her KAMSC classes. Campbell explained that she has experienced a lot less stress this school year, although she continues with her advanced studies with enrollment in two AP classes this school year, AP biology and AP U.S. History.

“An average school night this year involves at most two hours of studying,” explains Campbell. She has a lot more time for extracurricular activities and can invest more time in her social life. Campbell gives this bit of advice for KAMSC students who are struggling in their studies; “Don’t beat yourself up, you’re not going to do as well as you would in a regular school,” said Campbell.

The time one student spends in high school during their lifetime can be challenging, considering the adjustments a person goes through over the duration. When a school work load is brought home and spans between four hours of study to possibly studying all night, there is not much time to explore the opportunities of extracurricular activities that high school has to offer. These activities may include participating in school clubs, volunteering for organizations,

Some students, however, learn to manage their workload, such as senior Andrew Labadie.  Labadie, who is currently enrolled in the KAMSC program, revealed the “secret” to succeeding in creating personal time management that works for him. Labadie is one of the Loy Norrix men’s varsity soccer team captains and has taken rigorous classes throughout his high school educational career. He mentioned he spends about two to three hours a night studying solely for KAMSC homework. When he arrives home from soccer practice during a weeknight, he begins his studies and focuses on them for the remainder his night.

“KAMSC has prepared me for my future in ways that improve my work habits, invest a work effort that is ten times harder and complete my responsibilities more efficiently,” says Labadie. Andrew mentions that a substantial amount of the stress he has comes from his KAMSC responsibilities but he explains that he has developed an effective routine for his time management that prevents any procrastination.

Some advice that Labadie gives to struggling KAMSC students is “…try to talk to KAMSC upperclassmen and figure out a way to handle your time management. An imperative factor is to avoid procrastination because it adds up in the long run.”