How To: Balance and Manage


Kayla Weddington, Staff Writer

If you are a victim of senioritis or junioritis then this article is for you. I’m sure many upperclassmen will agree that high school can definitely be both a pain and a reward. We often get so wrapped up in school that we become careless, sleep-deprived zombies just barely sliding through each day. We wake up, go to school, come home, then repeat the process and hope that somewhere in there we scrape together a decent grade. Sometimes doing sports and clubs and jobs and volunteering and having friends can become a jumble of mess, leaving you feeling like a pile of trash. Times can be tough in high school and every day just brings us closer and closer to dreaded final exams. So how do you balance school, sports, extracurriculars, social life, family, friends, and college prep all into one day? Just keep reading.

My first tip for balancing requires a good ol’ classic planner. Nothing spectacular, it doesn’t have to be state of the art, just so long as you are able to track and log every day of the school year. I went most of junior year with no planner and my grades and overworked brain show how lost I was without a planner. I was all over the place, forgetting meetings and homework. Not to mention all the ‘oh your birthday is today?’s I had to deal with.

Not everyone is keen to the idea of a planner, but honestly it does help sometimes to give your brain a break from having to remember every single thing. My planner is color coded just to improve its functionality. Highlighters are an easy way to liven up a planner and make it more fun to use. I use my planner everyday, and it’s just become a healthy habit. Now my brain has more time to think of more present matters. However, if your not a planner crazy person then there are absolutely other things you can do to help balance school and life.

An excellent way to make time is to end procrastination. I know it sounds impossible. I know people will tell you this all the time, but you have to understand that you have so much more time than you think. The hours you spend scrolling and watching TV could be better spent working on assignments or practicing an instrument. The hours spent shaking and cursing that ‘I’m going to fail anyway so what’s the point?’ could be spent getting some help, practicing on Quizlet, or at least pretending to finish assignments. It’s a lot easier to do homework when you have it in your face staring back at you. Try and make new habits to prevent yourself from going to be unaccomplished. Instead of going home and plopping in bed, sit down at a table and do one assignment at least. Make goals to be caught up on homework every night. Your grades will be grateful in return.

An alternative to the planner is a simple To-Do list. There are hundreds of to-do list apps. And most phones come programmed with a notes or memo section. There’s nothing more satisfying than crossing out each task one by one. It’s a productivity booster. Making goals for yourself everyday can become a healthy habit. If you’re not as tech savvy, just having a sheet of paper will work just as fine. You can find little clipboards with a pad of paper at the dollar store. My to-do list ranges from laundry to band practice to field trip forms. It’s just another great way to give your brain a rest and to ensure that your getting everything you need to do done.

Time management is all up to you. You have to prioritize the things you do in order to get the most out of extra. So perhaps a paper due the next day is more important than going to a football game. Or maybe if your band performance is half of your grade you should make sure you’ve finished everything you need to do before then. You have to prioritize and time manage everything so that you don’t suffer the consequences of having too many things at once. Don’t be afraid to say no to people. Sometimes it just isn’t the right time to go out with friends. However, you should never not be able to do something because you don’t have the time. You will always make time for the things you love, and I’m pretty sure all high school students love diplomas.

If none of these tips stand out to you, all I can say is just try and stay focused on graduation. Do what you can to make it across that stage, but do not lose all your high school experiences. You can still go to the Homecomings and the Spirit Showdowns. Take part in every experience you can get. Never look back at high school in regret. Just make sure that the social part of high school doesn’t overpower the academic side.

Remember the destination is graduation and please – please – please try and get more than five hours of sleep every night.

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