Everybody knows the dreaded feeling each morning hearing the alarm clock beep beeping its way into your peaceful slumber; you start regretting the fact that you stayed up until 1 o’clock in the morning cramming for that algebra test 5th hour. Every student faces the daily stress of high school expectations and balancing the seemingly increasing amount of time commitment success demands of us. Every college wants to see involvement and dedication to rigorous courses, yet they conveniently fail to provide a manual on how to balance such qualifications. So what exactly is the magic spell to balancing high school life? There isn’t really a set way to be stress free and ready to seize the day, but there are small things we can do to make it just a wee bit smoother.
Statistics provided by the NFHS reveal that in 2014 over 7.8 million high school students across the country participated in a school sport. That’s fantastic news on the social and athletic aspect of life, however not so exciting from the academic stand point. Whether you’re getting up at the crack of dawn to prepare for your season or returning from a competition at 8pm, sports take up a good chunk of our time. However, if we really stop and take a look at our time schedule, we could easily get a head start on our nightly work during advisory instead of chatting away with friends. The bus ride to your next sports match could be another snapshot of studying time in your busy day. Any extra time you can find is an opportune time to whip out your vocab cards or brainstorm for your essay. Remember, never try and sacrifice a whole night of sleep over one test; all that information won’t do you any good if you’re half asleep. If a sport is consuming way too much of your time and your academic assessments seem to be dropping, it may be wise to cut back on your extracurricular activities or academics. You want to challenge yourself, but not to the point that you have stretched yourself paper thin. Don’t be embarrassed if you realize you can’t do a certain club or must consider the possibility of changing a class if you simply can’t handle it. In no case would it make you a slacker or unintelligent, but quite the opposite in understanding how to fit your life to your needs. If you ever get too overwhelmed just take a second to really stop and breathe and consider small changes you could make to allow for a little more room to breathe.
Everyone knows the few minutes you go to check Instagram or post a late night tweet can easily turn into an hour long expedition into the depth of the internet. As much as we complain about lacking enough time to complete assignments, each and every one of us could use a lesson on time management. It is important to take breaks, as not to overload yourself with thousands of terms, yet we hold the responsibility to know when we need to focus. Try cutting down your phone time by a few minutes each night and maybe even set it in another room while you take in a full hour of honest studying. Little things can make a huge difference in school performance. As much as you may want to go on YouTube and ignore the stack of homework towering next to you, is it really worth the loss of another hour of sleep filled with homework? Many students get home late at night from sporting or club events and find themselves in a race against the clock, praying to get at least 5 hours of sleep. Do yourself a favor and choose sleep over social media, your social life can wait until you pass tomorrow’s math test.
On top of the sky high responsibilities of academics, sports, and extra curricular activities, some students even work a part- or even full- time job during the school year. It is as simple as this: we all know how nice it is to get money in our pocket or to save away for college, yet it isn’t worth the sacrifice of your academics if you are struggling. A job is a huge responsibility that not everyone can honestly take on without stretching their time too thin. Consider maybe a summer job over a year round one, or opt for weekend shifts so you aren’t out too late on school nights. If it is too big of a commitment, there is an important, although sometimes uncomfortable, decision for you to make. Only you know what you can handle, and it is up to you to make the best call.
Although we all wish we could magically make the responsibilities of impending pre-adulthood disappear, they exist nonetheless. When that alarm rings go grab your mug of coffee- or whatever is your cup of tea- and take the day in stride. Best of luck on the rest of your school year!