Getting the letter that informs you that you’ve been accepted into the National Honors Society (NHS) at your school is supposedly one of the highest honors that can be bestowed upon a high school student. But what does it really entail? TP gives you the low-down!

Each high school handles NHS differently. At my school, you can only be a member if you are a senior, meaning you apply as a junior and find out if you were accepted at the end of junior year. As for the required amount of hours, one has to commit 25 hours during the summer before senior year if he or she is a probationary member (if you haven’t had much volunteering experience prior), or 15 hours if you are a regular member. All members also have to commit 40 hours per semester of senior year to volunteering either by themselves or with the club for a total of 80 hours the entire senior year.

NHS is a huge commitment at my school, which is why some just don’t apply. However, at other schools, NHS is much more lax. In my fellow editorial intern Monika Naik’s NHS club, which she is the president of, members are recruited starting junior year, and they only need a total of 15 hours from when they join to the end of senior year. “Since we only need 15 hours, it is not too big of a time commitment for most, and its fun to volunteer with a bunch of different friends”, Monika explains.

Depending on the time requirement for your NHS club, it can be a huge challenge to meet. In another editorial intern, Gabrielle Scullard’s, NHS club, the requirement is 30 hours. She unfortunately didn’t have all the hours she needed before the deadline one year. “I had to go to appeals in hopes they wouldn’t boot me out forever”, Gabrielle explains. “You have never seen fear until you look into the eyes of a student waiting to be called into NHS appeals.”

Due to lack of interest, procrastination, or a busy schedule, your hours can be stressful and difficult, but a sure fire way to complete them is to engage yourself in volunteering activities you’ll enjoy. Since I was new this summer to spending a lot of time volunteering, I entered NHS as a probationary member, meaning I had to commit 25 hours to volunteering over the summer. At first I thought it sucked because I had 25 while most of my friends had to do 15 hours, but when I started to volunteer, I realized it wasn’t a big deal.

I volunteered at my city’s art council, where they were having art camps all summer long for ages 4-13. Before I knew it, I had 140 hours under my belt, obviously way past my requirement. Many NHS clubs tutor kids at school, but they can also throw events. Last year, the NHS club at my school threw a dodgeball tournament that you had to pay for to play in, and they gave the money to research facilities that were looking for a cure to lymphoma cancer. They also help a stop for my city’s Art Walk to show the art of our school and students where members of NHS got to show their talent as well. Suggesting different events in the club will make it more fun.

So if you’re thinking about joining the National Honors Society or are stressed about your future participation in it, don’t fret! Join volunteering activities that are fun and will make the club more bearable that will help complete your hours, but also not make your load harder to carry. And don’t forget to keep them grades up. You got it!

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