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Student Athletes Make The Most Of Their Summer

Melody Cui ’23 Co-Lead Sports Editor
During the school year, Hopkins’s three-season athletic requirement ensures that students maintain a healthy level of activity on top of a rigorous academic load. But when summer arrives, athletic requirements go out the window, giving students the freedom to exercise as they please.
Even without any athletic requirements in place, some Hopkins students continued to exercise during the summer as frequently as they did during the school year. Rhea Ahuja ’23 stated that she exercised “four to six days a week [during the summer], which is similar to how often [she exercises during the school year].” Ahuja attributed her consistency to her love for her sport: “I really like squash, so I love playing all summer.” Some Hopkins students even increased the intensity of their exercising regime during the summer. Brandon Chung ’23 noted that he “work[s] out less during the school year” because he doesn’t always “have enough time to do schoolwork and work out.” The result? “Summer is when I am most fit,” said Chung.

On top of exercising regularly, students also used the summer to seek out additional athletic opportunities not available during the school year. Dancer Zoe Sommer ’23 explained that “a lot of dancers attend summer intensives to work with a variety of teachers outside of their studio and advance their training.” Sommer attended two intensives this year that entailed “dancing over six hours a day.” The intensives, Sommer continued, “allowed her not only to improve [her] ballet technique but also to learn a variety of repertoire.”

On the other side of the spectrum, some students found themselves exercising less during the summer than during the school year. Laila Samuel ’23 “[ran] three times a week” compared to five times a week during the school year. Likewise, Arin Bhandari ’23 at- tended swim practice “three to four times a week” during the summer, down from the “five days a week” during the school year. However, exercising during the summer remained grueling, despite the decrease in frequency. Bhandari described having “a 6 AM wakeup alarm” in order to attend swim practice at 6:30 AM, which is “even earlier than for school.”

Part of the reason students ease up on exercise during the summer is the belief that the summer should be a time to relax and recharge before the school year and its athletic demands begin. Bhandari stated that “the summer, and especially August, is used as a bit of a breather before the fall season begins.” Fiona Li ’22 emphasized that “summer is time away from school and a break from [the] strenuous activity and stress that comes from school.” Instead of the “two hours a day [of swimming and] drylands” done during the school year, Li “favor[s] light exercise, like walking or dancing to music in [her] room” during the summer.

A lack of motivation and other mental hurdles during the summer are other significant contributors to a decrease in exercise for some students. The lack of an athletic requirement means students must be the ones to push themselves to exercise, which can be a demanding task for some. Samuel noted that it “becomes difficult to force yourself to [exercise] when you don’t have a commitment forcing you to [do so].” The support system usually found in a sports team is also not easily accessible, adding another challenge to exercising during the summer. Nana Dondorful-Amos ’22 commented, “it can be hard to find motivation to be active when you’re on your own.” Li agreed, adding that without “your coaches and
teammates [...] keeping you accountable,” you “have to push yourself to [exercise].”

Regardless of the intensity or frequency of summer approaches to exercise, students concur that it should be maintained throughout the school year and summer because of the mental and physical benefits. Chung stated: “I like working out in general; [it] gets my mind and body right.” Similarly, Dondorful-Amos finds that exercising “makes [her] happier and more productive,” so she “[tries] to incorporate something active in [her] everyday routine.” Li concluded, “Just because we are on summer break doesn’t mean you have to take a break from exercising.”
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