Hazel Seagrave On Balancing School, Sports, and Extracurriculars


Ali Caudle

Hazel Seagrave smiles, standing outside the doors to the Grizzly Pool, where the high school swim teams practice.

Ali Caudle, Reporter

    Between homework, sports, jobs, and extracurricular activities, many high school students find themselves struggling to juggle all of their commitments. I recently caught up with Hazel Seagrave, a sophomore at Hellgate, to learn how she balances it all. Seagrave is on Hellgate’s swim team, is in the drama program, and works at Big Dipper, but she’s found that school takes up most of her time.

    “School is really busy lately because of block and Mr. Jensen’s biology. If you had him you know what I’m talking about. Nothing bad, but just a lot… he expects a lot of his students,” she said.

    That’s true for most of her classes, though. Seagrave explained that most of her teachers expect her to do a lot of work.

    “Definitely with block. It’s a little bit lighter in Mr. Warner’s class, but with Ms. Hixson, she asks a lot of us, [and] gives us a lot of readings and work packets at once. Although she gives you a good amount of time to do it, it’s hard to

Ali Caudle
Hazel Seagrave smiles, standing outside the doors to the Grizzly Pool, where the high school swim teams practice.

work it all in to your schedule, to fit all of that in,” said Seagrave.

    Between swimming and rehearsal for the play, she finds that on most nights, her schedule is jam-packed with little room for fun. Any spare time she has, she puts towards homework.

  Seagrave said, “I try to do little bits at a time. Like, so my schedule is usually school, and then rehearsal starts at 4. I have an hour between school and rehearsal, not enough time to really go home, so I stay at school and try to use that hour to work on some homework and at least get little chunks in… Then you’ve at least made a dent in it and so you feel a little bit accomplished.”

    Seagrave prefers to complete the “easy” stuff first, such as writing down definitions for vocabulary. If she has a homework assignment that feels less daunting, that’s how she’ll get started. Anything else, she’ll save for the weekend.

    “So my Friday’s are dedicated to homework, which seems lame,” she said while laughing, “but I usually spend hours on Friday’s doing homework because that’s when I don’t have swimming or rehearsal.”

    This year, Hellgate’s drama club is putting on a production of “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” as their spring play. Seagrave plays Lucy Pevensie, one of the major characters. She is really excited for the play.

Ali Caudle
Hazel Seagrave laughs as she poses dramatically for a picture.

    “Usually, the spring show is like the big, extravagant one. And the fall show, it’s cool, but it’s always a little bit less than the spring show. We put in a little more effort for the spring show,” said Seagrave.

    For now, rehearsal is from 4-6pm, Monday through Thursday. Later on, as opening night approaches, more rehearsals are added and weekends become involved.

    Seagrave said, “It is a shorter play… this one is only gonna be like an hour… but we only have, I think, eight weeks to work on it. That means memorizing all our lines before the off book day, which is in like three weeks now. So I also have to fit in memorizing lines into my schedule.”

    Even though it can be a lot, Seagrave makes it clear that she loves drama. She said, “I really enjoy working with [the cast], and I love everyone. And they all help, so even though it can be stressful, everyone there is super awesome.”

    Drama is only one of her loves, however. Hazel Seagrave has been swimming for years, alongside her siblings. This year, her older sister Isabella Seagrave is one of the senior captains for the girls’ swim team.

    Hazel Seagrave had no trouble describing why she loved swimming. “I love the way it makes me feel, and it’s so awesome being in the water. And I love the smell of chlorine! I love the way it smells on my skin and my hair, and I love the way that I feel after I get out of the pool after a really hard set. Because I just feel accomplished,” she said. “A lot of times the sets make me feel like I just really want to quit and like I want to die. And then all my friends at swimming help me get through it, and when I get out of the pool I’m like… ‘Damn Hazel, you just did all that!’”

    But making it to both rehearsals for the play and swim practices can be tough. “Rehearsal ends at 6, and that’s when swimming starts, at 6. So I go straight from rehearsal to swimming. It’ll usually look like me rushing out the door of rehearsal, and then I go straight to swimming and hop in the pool. And usually I’ve missed like the first little bit of warmups, but I’ll get in and do whatever I can,” said Seagrave. 

    Swim practice ends at 7:30, but after showering and changing, she might not make it home until almost 8. However, just because Seagrave’s weekdays are full, does not mean that she gets a breather on weekends.

    “Usually every Saturday there’s a swim meet, which takes up the whole day… and then Sunday’s are usually dedicated to homework if I don’t have actual work or babysitting,” Seagrave said.

    By actual work, she means scooping ice cream for eager customers at Missoula’s famous Big Dipper ice cream shop. Seagrave explained that she works a lot more during the spring and summer than in the winter. When she is working during the winter, it’s only once or twice a week. “[It’s] not too bad, but on top of everything else, it can be a lot,” she said.

    Ultimately, Seagrave loves living life with a lot of commitments and responsibilities. She said, “I know for me, even though it’s very stressful with so many activities, this is how I would rather have it than doing nothing. It’s fun, you meet so many people, you have so many good experiences, you have things that you can talk about.”

    As far as guidance for high school students who might find themselves struggling in a sea of stuff to do, Seagrave had one simple piece of advice: “Take it chunk by chunk.” She joked, and said, “Especially with all the block homework, instead of saving it all for the night before. Which I’ve done my fair share of.”