Service Hours Are Stupid


Juniors Dillon Thomas, Cooper Eglian and Andrew Burruss have an in-depth discussion during the SPECKS club meeting, a new club without service hours (Photo by Sarah Treusch).

As the end of the first semester nears, students across the honor societies, other organizations and clubs rush to meet their deadlines for their service hours. Some organizations are very reasonable and only have a few per semester, but others can not say the same. Excessive service hour requirements are unnecessary and detrimental to students. 


To get inducted into these prestigious organizations, you have to have a certain GPA and maintain it, but if the student is struggling to get their last five service hours for the semester instead of studying for their midterms, it can hurt their grade. Getting a surplus of service hours doesn’t show commitment to a club. Showing up to meetings does. 


Junior Sarah Hickman, who is in NHS, NSHS, Beta Club, STUCO, NTS and Tri-M, needs “20 hours for National Honors Society,” and she has had “barely any time to get hours because [she] is involved in Drama and Choir which have outside school rehearsals plus four AP classes and other accel[erated] classes. Having such a large workload prevents [her] from getting hours outside of school and in Raider Time since [she is] normally getting academic help but taking all these high-level classes is required to get into honor societies. It’s a dilemma.”


Unless you are an officer, it is very difficult to stay in touch with what the service hours are and when they’re due. The communication in organizations is minimal, but oftentimes, at least in my personal experience, once a service hour opportunity finally gets expressed, the turnaround is too quick for many to even submit them. 


After polling a group of Forsyth students, 59% of students said that they had a difficult time getting service hours. While 59% is just barely a majority, it doesn’t take into account that some organizations don’t have unrealistic expectations. Additionally, If 10 service hours per semester was so easy, significantly fewer students would have a difficult time achieving their hours. 


Since she is in NHS, NEHS and Tri-M, junior Irelan McCormick stated, “It’s been difficult to try and balance studying for midterms and making sure I can squeeze in all of the many service hours I need before the end of the semester. It’s gotten increasingly stressful trying to maintain my grades and find time for organizations. I think these organizations should consider the fact that most people in them are doing more than one, and that lessening the number of service hours required would help students.”


Although service hours will probably never decrease, they are the nail in the coffin to the stress of AP and honors students. The idea and concept of them shows commitment to the club or organization, but at the same time, the timing of them is inconvenient, making them a burden on students.