Social life is draining, meetings are long and boring, and sometimes homework is too hard to figure out. The easy thing to do is to distract yourself, and go out for the night. The homework will still be there tomorrow and someone will be blowing up your phone about the meeting you missed. It is hard to find the balance between being a high school kid and trying to mold a good future at the same time. It is so easy to say “yes I can do that” or “don’t worry, I will finish it,” even though there are already so many things on your plate. Social life is important, but so are school and other extracurriculars.
Between the calculus homework and the impossible literature test, the fair, and a meeting that is going to be a waste of your time, you have to prioritize. Oftentimes, the best option sounds like going to the fair with your friends. Mentally, a break from your everyday routine is important. Going to the fair or hanging out with your friends for the night is not going to be the worst idea. But getting your homework done before going out will also be a huge stress reliever. If that means waking up earlier than usual to do it before school, the benefits might outweigh having to skip something fun.
Although you feel like you already have so much to do, having a hobby can increase the likelihood of accomplishing something. For instance, getting a couple of homework problems done and then taking a break when you can’t figure it out. If you take a break and do something that you enjoy, you can resume the hard paper or math homework later. It can be a short break, or an hour long break. Forcing yourself to think about something other than the topic you are on will improve how well you work. The worst thing that could be done when you are feeling stressed is to take a nap or sleep on it. Getting everything done, no matter how long it takes or how tired you get will have a positive effect on how you perform.
You do not have to do everything for everyone, it is okay to say “no.” There are other people around you that are capable of taking control of something that you can’t fully complete. The worst feeling is starting something that you are unable to finish. So, start by taking a step back. Look at everything you have done up until this point, you have paved a path that allows you to take a break for one second. Saying yes to one more thing means that you are saying “no” to free time, or time that can be used for yourself.
Yes, it feels like everyone is watching every step you make just to see if you will fail, or if you won’t be able to finish something. Don’t get wrapped in the thought of “everyone is watching.” You have already lost if you care so much about what other people are going to think. You are not going to be known as a weird kid if you go to a meeting instead of a party. You are not on the same level as everyone else. Again, you are paving the way for your future. This doesn’t mean that the people around you aren’t doing the same thing, because they are. You are just going about it in a different way than they are.
At the end of the day, you want to be able to do everything, be in every club, go to every party, and be in every hard class. It is very possible to manage, but it is not easy. It takes time and a well rounded person. Setting reasonable goals is a very big asset that can be used. Obviously your goal can not be to become president of every organization that you are involved in, that is not reasonable. I am sure that you have the skills to do it, but you don’t have the mental capacity. Remember that other people want to have a chance at the same things as you.
Multitasking is a huge deciding factor when it comes to being involved. Multitasking can be understood in many ways, multitasking is NOT starting various projects and not being able to complete any of them. Multitasking is choosing the most important things that need to be done, starting them, taking a break on one project and going to the next, and not stopping until they are all completed. This goes along with prioritizing, choosing the most important tasks and completing them.
ASK FOR HELP! You think you can do everything on your own, but it is not possible when you have constant meetings and homework, and a social life. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness; it is okay to take a break and let someone else take the wheel for once.
Ava Morgan, Valley View High School, 12th Grade, Instagram - @avacmorgan