Ask Seniors: Balancing Everything


John Kirages, Staff Writer

“How do you balance school, sports, friends, family, and other interests?”

-J.R., freshman


Dear J.R.,

We all know the feeling of being stretched too far, of being torn in a thousand different directions with no time to breathe, of being buried under a mountain of work, the walls of all of our obligations closing in around us, suffocating us, crushing us, making us feel as though there is no way out of our responsibilities and no time to relax.

But do not worry; there is a way to survive, to endure, and to thrive. First, make sure that you actually want to continue with your many responsibilities. While you may dislike the idea of quitting, there is no point in continuing with a club or sport that you dread and despise. Even if you’re under the impression that participating in an activity will help you get into college or earn a scholarship, it’s not worth wasting hours upon hours of your life. It’s far better to find another club or sport that truly engages you.

Should you decide to continue with your activities, or should you believe that it would be a terrible idea to quit, then you need to set your priorities. What activities and obligations are most valuable to you? Would you rather do well in school or hang out with friends? Would you rather practice your sport or spend time with your family? Once you know what is most important to you, be sure that you honor those obligations first. Perhaps, if school is the most important thing to you and you’re afraid that you’ll procrastinate or forget to do some homework over the weekend, do all your homework Friday night instead of hanging out with your friends. That way, you ensure that your work is done and you still have the rest of the weekend to do other things. Consider making a to-do list; it may seem childish, but being able to look at an agenda will make it far easier to get everything done. This way, you simultaneously minimize the risk of forgetting and ensure that you won’t overbook yourself or make plans with your friends, only to find that you still have a mountain of work to do.

Finally, if you get easily distracted and want to ensure that you stay focused on whatever you’re doing — be it work, practicing an instrument, or what have you you need to isolate yourself from your distractions. If you feel the need to surf the internet, check social media, or play video games, put your phone in another room while you work and use your chromebook if you need a computer. It’s not a perfect system, sure, but it will help keep you productive. Finally, find someone that can hold you accountable, such as a sibling, close friend, or parent. Ask them to check in with you every once in a while to ensure that you’re on task.

We all lead busy lives and stuff our schedules like the Thanksgiving turkey, making it difficult to do everything, especially if we have a tendency to get distracted. Nonetheless, developing good work habits and finding ways to concentrate will have far-reaching effects that can help us for the rest of our lives.

Good Luck,

The Seniors