Bursting the bubble: students balance life in and out of Bexley

Grabbing a bite after school at Chipotle or running for a late-night treat at Graeter’s with friends may seem convenient for most students, but for those who don’t live in Bexley full-time, it may feel like a million miles away. Splitting time between living in Bexley and another town, these students must learn to adjust to the distance from Bexley’s community. 

Senior Anthony Keith said he has experienced the struggles of traveling between houses and its effect on school sports. 

“When I played soccer, it definitely cut into my time,” he said. “I was able to spend a lot less time with my dad, which was tough during the soccer season.”

Keith said he played soccer at the high school for three years but decided not to play his senior year. He said he was spending less time with his dad and had to make a necessary sacrifice. 

He acknowledged that many students don’t have to worry about things like this because they live a walkable distance from the high school, unlike Keith, who would have to drive two hours in order to get to practice each day.

“Because it happened to me at an earlier age, I was able to adjust, so it feels normal for me,” he said. “I don’t feel like I’m missing out too much, and I’ve been able to socially adapt to it.”

He said it’s tough when he wants to spend time with his friends and go to school events in Bexley, but since he has been traveling back and forth for 15 years, he has gotten used to it. 

Junior Emily Ball, whose father lives in Upper Arlington, has a different perspective on the effects of living outside of Bexley.

“It makes it really difficult to see my friends, and then I have to plan out times to see them or anything way further in advance,” she explained.

Ball said she wants to spend more time with her friends, but making plans is not always easy when she’s 20 minutes away. 

“It’s difficult because a lot of my friends don’t have the same issues, so they don’t actually help me by making any plans quickly,” she said.

She doesn’t have her driver’s license, which can make it really tough on her parents, she added. 

“It’s always really difficult to figure out if either my mom or my dad are picking me up or dropping me off,” she explained. 

Ball said rides are hard to coordinate, especially when things aren’t planned out in advance, so she often misses out on events and hang-outs because she doesn’t have a ride. 

Keith shares a similar sentiment. 

“It was a lot of strain on my parents, and it was tough for them to constantly go back and forth,” he said. 

Keith said his parents had to meet between two houses to make driving time fair, but once he received his driver’s license, it was a huge relief to his parents. 

Even though driving back and forth is tough, he said he enjoys having a break from Bexley. He has family that lives in Newark, which is around 40 minutes from Bexley, and he even got a job there for around a year, Keith added.

For Ball, Upper Arlington presents new opportunities to explore.

“I enjoy my dad’s [house] because of my dogs, and I like to walk them around the neighborhood,” she said. “Upper Arlington’s streets are a lot bigger, aren’t as side by side and they’re more disproportional, so it’s fun to go on a little adventure.”  

Despite the city’s upsides, she expressed how hard it can be to oscillate between houses. 

“Packing my bag is difficult,” Ball said. “I’m constantly packing, and I have to try and remember everything to be prepared for school.” 

She said forgetting something at one house is an inconvenience because she has to anticipate what she will need for school and extracurriculars before she switches houses. 

“It’s hard when I have textbooks to manage between houses,” she said. “My backpack will rack up an extra 30 pounds in textbooks because I only have one of each.”

Conversely, Keith focuses on the positives of switching between houses. 

“It’s also nice to have another place that you are connected to, and there’s things that happen in Bexley and in Newark that I get to enjoy,” he said.

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Annabelle Mugler
Annabelle Mugler is a Junior reporter for the Torch. Aside from Torch, she cheers for the Bexley varsity cheer team, dances competitively at Pinnell Dance center, and enjoys many different clubs.