Balancing School, Social, and Extracurricular Life
This weekend when I asked you all on Instagram what you wanted to read about for today’s blog post, an overwhelmingly large number of followers noted that they were struggling to balance their social life with academics and extracurriculars. Juggling a million assignments, practices, events, and social plans is no easy task and frankly it’s exhausting. It’s crazy to think that now, barely 17, I wake myself up, make my own breakfast, drive myself to school, do all of my assignments, go to appointments on my own, set up my own social plans… and in college managing everything will be even more of a responsibility. Being able to find balance in your life is an essential skill to develop and while I am not even close to mastering it, here are a few tips I want to share with you:
Think 10 steps ahead. And be up front about it.
Whether you’re the procrastinator or hyper organized type, the only real way you’re going to be able to keep up your grades, have a fun social life, and remain well rounded outside of school is if you think ahead. I can’t stress this enough but your time is so valuable and so is the time of the people around you. Thinking ahead is being realistic about what you can make work and being up front with your friends about your conflicts so they don’t feel blown off. Planning ahead means being on top of your schedule but also giving yourself the space and time you need for school work or better your mental well being.
On that note… be picky.
Be realistic and discerning! There’s no way you can be in 2 places at once. Give your whole self and attention to those after school activities and also friendships that make you feel the most fulfilled and happy. Successfully bringing balance into your life is knowing when you’ve taken on too much. You could also combine to be efficient with your time: make working out and taking care of your body a social thing. Invite a friend to go on a hike or a walk, do a workout class, or join a gym together.
The quiet room (and Friday afternoon = crunch time)
My friends roast me all the time because I literally live in this one room at school called ‘the quiet room’, a working space where no one can talk. I’m actually so productive in there it’s insane. I highly recommend that you turn off your phone, escape from the social scene at school for like 45 minutes, and just fully grind and get some homework done in a quiet space. I also get to school pretty early because I’m productive in the morning and like to do homework then. Maybe choose even just one day a week like a Wednesday or Thursday to go in early and get some studying done before everyone else gets to school. Also, get with the program because Friday afternoon is the new Sunday afternoon but without the last minute stress. When you get out of school on Friday, get your coffee with friends and take a shower or whatever you need to do to have a little refresh and then really really focus from like 4pm to 8pm. After that, you can relax and space out some other homework throughout the weekend and still go out Friday and Saturday nights if that’s your thing. I swear you’ll be so much happier knowing that you got through your work quickly and then can enjoy the rest of your weekend.
Goal oriented, then reward
Set and achieve your goals first and then reward yourself later. Finish the english paper then rage on Saturday night. Even if it’s small periods of productivity like 20 minutes of homework and then a 5 minute break, it’s nice to feel like you’re giving yourself something to look forward to.
If you typically have long car drives for sports practices or a lengthy commute to school, consider recording yourself reading aloud your study guide or finding an audio version of the book you're reading in class and listening to it in those down times. Because I have to drive so far to school, I started making use of that time in the car and it's a great way to knock out some homework and studying so I can have more time for my other commitments.
Finally, busy girls like us have to get comfortable with being flexible. When things don’t work out with a plan with friends because that plan conflicts with a sports game or having too much homework, take those things in your stride and just accept that that’s going to happen every once in a while. While you may have gotten into a habit of double booking yourself 24/7, try to be content with not packing every last social commitment in for the weekend because you’ll often just be disappointing yourself and others. Prioritize yourself, your mental health, your school work, and everything else will surely fall into place.
WE got this,