Peyton Kuschmeider

Keeping the balance

October 12, 2022

Arriving at school at 6:00 a.m. and leaving at 8:00 p.m. may seem like a long school day, but that is freshman Rubyna Jooma’s normal. Arriving home and having barely enough time to do homework or even shower may sound stressful, but that is Jooma’s normal. Raising money by baking and selling cake pops is not on most student’s radar, but that is Jooma’s normal. 

Jooma has decided to commit her free time to volleyball and band, while also running a small cake pop business outside of school to raise money for the education of children in Pakistan. This all follows the passing of her late father, due to a car accident in the summer of Jooma’s sixth grade year.

“I think after [my dad’s passing], I started distracting myself by being super busy and taking on a whole ton of stuff,” Jooma said. “I’ve always been a part of honors classes, but I’ve never taken on so many extra curriculars until that happened. At first, it was just a way for me to avoid the emotions, but now it’s a new lifestyle and how I like to spend my days.”

Jooma’s time is constantly consumed by the activities she’s doing. She said she is always busy, but she loves it. The only problem for her has been getting to places, as it is hard for her mother to drive her everywhere. 

“It’s constant morning and night,” Jooma said. “It’s usually volleyball in the morning and band [at night]. I actually really like it; I love being busy. Sometimes it can be a lot, but [I’ve] just developed it into my schedule [and] it feels natural now.”

Jooma plays volleyball on the freshman B team. Her mornings are usually consumed by practice, and Thursday nights are usually consumed by games.

“High school is pretty demanding of any student’s time, especially as freshmen get acclaimed to it,” assistant volleyball coach Brian Barowsky said. “In addition to that, Rubyna elected to pursue two of the most demanding extracurricular activities. I can’t even imagine how much time management and careful planning she already embodies at a young age.”

On top of volleyball, Jooma is a mellophone player for the marching band. Rehearsal begins at 4:30 p.m. and usually ends at 7:30 p.m. However, Jooma usually stays after rehearsal is over to practice her marching assignments independently and with the help of upperclassmen. 

“I think Rubyna is very result-driven,” head band director Andy Sealy said. “She has high expectations for herself. She also has a very broad view [and] she wants to experience a lot of things, so she’s determined to get what she can and hold up her end of her performance or athletic responsibilities.”

Outside of the multitude of activities she’s doing in school, the last bit of her freetime is consumed by her small business. Jooma bakes and sells cake pops in order to help out with her mother’s fundraiser.

“I started it during the summer to help my mom,” Jooma said. “She has a fundraiser to sponsor kids in Pakistan [and] their college education. One of her donor’s dropped out, and he [sponsored] five students, so she had to pay all that herself [and] I wanted to help out.”

Jooma said she has big dreams for the future. She hopes that the multitude of activities will make her a better person, and benefit her dreams for the future.

“I want to go to Harvard,” Jooma said. “I’m not sure exactly what field I want to pursue yet, but I know I want to help people and do something of service. I just want to be known as a hard worker and someone who is [kind] to everybody.”

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