Article by: Joshua Tan
Photograph by: Sienna Hagedorn
To keep up with the growing number of prestigious schools in the country, ISM provides an ever-increasing pool of extra-curricular clubs that aid in developing the talents and leadership potential of its students. These societies ranging from of the National Honors Society (NHS) to Modern Music Masters (Tri-M) . Every year, a new batch of students dream of entering one of the Honor Societies; however, like any other elite society, only a select few are accepted. For this reason, ISM creates a spirit of competition. Whether this fierce atmosphere fosters the best of spirits is debatable, but this controversy is far from large enough to overshadow the many advantages of developing these distinctive groups.
Obviously, all these school-based clubs contribute to building a positive climate of well-being within the high school student body. In the case of NHS, President Shin Won Kim claims that “all honor societies end up providing recognition as well as motivation for students to strive in their respective academic or extracurricular activities.” NHS searches for scholarship and service as the desirable traits of it’s future members, since the group provides opportunities for the members to share academic skills through ways such as tutoring. As seen in the experiences of present and former society members who have graduated from ISM, honor societies like the NHS instill stronger bonds among the members, whether they are still in high school or have graduated and are now in college.
The spirit of competition remains the strongest driving force that influences NHS members to achieve excellence. Sophomore Adam Zartin agrees with this opinion since he concurs that the NHS members search to “pursue their ever-rising potential.” Soham Mall, Sophomore Council Treasurer, believes that, “most students want to be part of change and decision-making,” preparing themselves to, “go up against others in order to do so.” If a disadvantage were to be found in the popularity of honor societies among students, it would be that the desire to be accepted into as many prestigious clubs as possible hinders a student’s commitment to a particular one. In agreement, Shin Won adds that, “many well-rounded and talented students in the school,” succumb to the temptation of accepting too many responsibilities from various extracurricular communities.
The effects of these honor societies have resulted in many benefits for ISM students, who have learned skills, such as effective time management to handle the challenge of balancing academic work with co-curricular responsibilities. Such societies also cultivate values such as patience, determination, endurance that are extremely useful in college and life beyond.