The sound blares, and Kevin Van Horn wakes up to the 7 a.m. alarm he set the night before. He takes a shower and eats his cereal. He grabs his things and starts his day.
Van Horn gets ready to drop off his little sister at school, while at the same time preparing for his morning tennis practice at 8 a.m.
“For me, tennis is a fun way to stay fit and energized,” Van Horn said. “The hardest part of the sport is getting a consistent hitting style. My grandfather was really into it, and it seemed fun to me, so I joined it as well.”
For Van Horn’s second block of this day, he goes to his pre-Advanced Placement English II class with Amber Bush, where they act out a scene from the play Antigone. After English, Van Horn goes to Cristina Galindo’s Spanish class, where they are learning about how to construct sentences in different kinds of verb tenses.
“My face hurt in English from laughing because everyone’s acting was so hilarious,” he said.
Sometimes, in between classes, Van Horn will pull out his wallet and unfold a little piece of paper containing the schedule of all of his activities for the day.
“Having this small piece of paper just to tell me what I’m in for today is a big help, especially when I need to focus on much more important and bigger things,” he said.
In his advance-placement world history class, students take notes based off the videos they are watching.
“My AP and pre-AP classes take a lot out of my time and mind, but it’s not really that bad since I usually get all my sleep I need,” Van Horn said. “Unless it’s the end of the six weeks, when everything is due and I have to finish up my projects.”
Van Horn’s final block consists of learning about the quadratic equation in his pre-AP Algebra II class, right before he ends his school day.
“I don’t know why I do it all,” Van Horn said. “I don’t like pre-AP classes very much, but it’s me investing in my future.”
Van Horn is in chamber orchestra, which has practice for A Christmas Carol that starts right after school and lasts about six hours.
“Recently, we’ve been finishing practice around 10 p.m., and when I get home I do homework and go to sleep,” Van Horn said.
Van Horn also has a job at a local tea shop, where he works part time mixing drinks like coffee and tea.
“I’ve been working there for five months ... since it opened ... and it’s a lot of fun,” he said. “I also got to take part in the renovation of the store and even had to break some walls.”
On rare occasions, when Van Horn does have free time to relax and let go, he gets on his computer and communicates with his friend, Steven Clark, via Skype or plays League of Legends, an online computer strategy game.
Even though Van Horn is always busy and has to work hard to keep up with his busy schedule, he still wouldn’t change a thing about his life and the lifestyle that he leads.
“My entire schedule is very tiring, but it’s a lot of fun instead of just staying at my house doing nothing else,” Van Horn said. “It’s like going with the flow. I do like having a busy schedule because it builds character.”
C.J. MAURICIO is a senior at Denton High School and a participant in the Denton Record-Chronicle’s “Speak Out Loud” writing program for student journalists.