I thought secondary school was already more demanding when I just entered from primary school. Then it got worse at Secondary 3. I thought maybe things couldn't be too worse off later on. How wrong I was.
JC is relatively more stamina-depleting than secondary school. Really. The teachers were right when they said the timetable was going to look ugly. I think the one for my class is so horrible that you can't squeeze in extra make-up lessons unless a miracle took place.
Project work is also a few levels higher than in secondary school too. At least back then you can pick just about any topic you can come up with and put in substantial amounts of effort into the project, even if it doesn't actually benefit anybody in a big way(except for the group itself, especially in terms of grades). Now even coming up with a feasible project is already a headache for quite a number of people.
Even topics which I have stronger foundation in are becoming more condensed with concepts. Physics and Chemistry and Maths are becoming even more content-heavy than before, and the test questions asked start to focus both on conceptual knowledge and application... which means even more writing and problem-solving. Seeing test papers from 20 years ago can make students envious.
And to top it off, there are some students who still commit to CCAs or even better/worse students' council. As if you weren't busy enough, you still decide to wring out as much free time as you can out of your schedule, effectively turning you into an overworked robot. Some do it for the sake of earning scholarships or to get an impressive portfolio of outstanding achievements, more than you can shake a stick at. Some do it because they are passionate/interested in doing so, regardless of whether they could have chosen something more popular or beneficial. Some may have given in to peer pressure: seeing so many of your friends going to one particular CCA may make you more inclined to follow suit.
Please. Having too much free time on your hands may be bad, but spending ALL of your time may not do you good either. You can't always allocate all your time and resources to school activities, when you could have reserved some time for relaxation or revision. You may have lived a very very active school life, but will it be a fun and memorable time of your life, or will it be a period of stress, worry and intensity among other negative things?
It's not wrong to be active in school, but remember to leave room in your life for other important/enjoyable things.