Juggling passion and school


Ore James

Senior Eleanor Irion has learned how to balance dance, orchestra and academics for the past four years.

Laurie Carrillo, Staff Writer

School, extracurriculars, and hobbies. Students routinely juggle several responsibilities to keep up their grades and look good for colleges. However, one senior struggles with these and more. Eleanor Irion, dancer, harpist, and AP/DC student has spent all of high school crafting a meticulous strategy and lifestyle to keep up with her talents.
“It’s a hectic, crazy, stressful, organized mess,” Irion said. “But it’s worth it.”
It was a smooth transition into high school for Irion, as she was mostly focused on creating a steady work ethic. World History AP however, gave her a shock sophomore year.
“I got hit with a truck sophomore year,” Irion said. “Ms. Bellon really slaps you over the head with that WHAP textbook.”
Although initially the year had a steady workload, Irion’s junior year increased in difficulty when she signed up for AP Psychology, forcing her to balance nightly readings with AP U.S. History.
“Double the notes was a huge workload to handle,” Irion said.
Senior year has introduced Irion to stress over college admissions as well as more difficulty with content rather than workload.

“The intensity of our actual in-class work has gotten harder,” Irion said.
Working late into the night has left Irion a stranger to sleep, with only a few naps to power her through the day. Dedication to school has always been a priority for her.
“My philosophy is that my homework and schoolwork are more important,” Irion said. “So no matter what, I will get it done before class.”

I really want to focus on doing things for myself rather than worry about expectations.”

— Eleanor Irion

Despite her rigorous dedication, she still finds time to enjoy and entertain herself with computer games and shows.
“My personal goal right now is to complete every level of Poptropica,” Irion said. “I do one every night after my homework so I can feel accomplished and happy.”
On top of her heavy school responsibilities, Irion is also a dancer at the Ballet Center of Houston. She rehearses five times a week except Wednesdays and Sundays from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. and seven hours on Saturdays.
“I always do my homework after dance,” Irion said. “I’d love to say I do it before, but I make up my sleep schedule as soon as I get home.”
This past December, in an annual tradition, Irion participated in the Nutcracker performance for the last time, dancing the roles of Arabian, Mouse Queen, Lead Flower, Snow, and Russian.

“I’ve done the show since I was 6 years old so it was sad to say goodbye to it,” Irion said.
Irion has danced since she was 3 years old and has performed in a variety of shows including Rodeo, Stars and Stripes, Cinderella, and other contemporary pieces choreographed by individual artists.
Additionally, Irion also plays the harp in orchestra and has to dedicate time to sectionals, rehearsals and preparing for solo and ensemble in February.
“I have harp lesson every Saturday and practice as much as I can during seventh period and in class,” Irion said.
Despite the pressure, this busy lifestyle has allowed Irion to develop an efficient work ethic conditioning her into a dedicated student that is reduced to building lego sets when left with no other responsibilities.
“When I have nothing going on, I don’t know what to do with myself,” Irion said. “It’s this mindset of productivity that I keep constantly.”
Although life after college has not been completely settled yet, Irion doesn’t plan on continuing to play the double bass but is hoping to find an outside organization where she could continue to play and hone her skills further.
“I really want to focus on doing things for myself rather than worry about expectations,” Irion said.