Balancing Act: School vs. Sports

Uyen Dao, Guest Writer

Two years, 24 months, 730 days. He has experienced lots of things in the past two years. He has had terrible moments, happy moments and struggling moments. Nicholas Kaipainen, a senior at Ann Arbor Huron High School, has been through them all. Besides playing water polo, Kaipainen likes solving puzzles and problems, swimming and exercising. He is also interested in pursuing a career in engineering. 

  Kaipainen has been playing water polo since he was a sophomore. 

“My first varsity game was in my sophomore year, that was one of the best experiences in my life,” Kaipainen said. “I feel like I played very well and I played with my older brother.”

Kaipainen’s first time playing water polo was a special event for him but being able to play with his older brother made it even more special. Sometimes Kaipainen would get sick of water polo, but he stayed motivated with the help of his team, family, and coaches. 

  “Certain people came to the events which made me feel special and made me want to push myself harder,” Kaipainen said. “My coach has helped me a lot in the past two years. He motivates me to do better and be better, and doesn’t push me to go beyond my limit.”

 There is always something below the surface, and water polo is not an exception. Kaipainen was sick of playing water polo last year because of a conflict with the coach. The conflicts affected the team’s performance, but the team has gotten a lot better since then. 

“The coaches seemed like they cared more about sports than education,” Kaipainen said. “They got mad at us when we missed [water polo] to study.” 

Both school and sports are crucial for Kaipainen, and it can be difficult to find a middle ground.

“It’s hard, but it’s more about motivation,” Kaipainen said. “If I am getting busy with water polo, it will definitely affect my school life. It also helps me to know what I need to do, and I think I can balance pretty well.”