Well kids it’s September and you know what that means… SCHOOL. As things start to settle down and you get used to your new locker or new schedule, the school-life balancing act will come back into play.
As young people, we are oftentimes told “find a balance” or “life is all about balance.” Whether it’s our parents, teachers, or bosses telling us this nugget of advice, they are right. However, knowing we need to find balance doesn’t make it any easier to find.
Our generation has a lot to juggle. It’s no longer a school-life balance or a friend-life balance—we must find a work-school-sports-friends-tutoring-community service-babysitting-dog walking-applying to college balance. This can seem a Herculean task. That said, it is possible and once you find what works best for you, you’ll be much more organized and on top of your game. Remember the age old saying, “You have just as many hours in a day as Beyoncé does.”
So how do you find this mysterious balance? First of all, it’s important to figure out what is most important to you. Your health, family, school, friends, work, sports, and clubs are all going to be pretty important. Maybe you love your job babysitting for your next door neighbors, but that Cooking Club you joined last month is starting to feel like a chore.
Sit down and write out all your activities. Calculate how much time it takes you to do your homework, how many hours you spend with your friends, how many hours you spend practicing for your sports team, and see what your weekly schedule looks like. If you are completely overloaded, consider eliminating things that aren’t near and dear to your heart.
Once you’ve figured out where all of your time is going (it’s so elusive, isn’t it?), maybe you’ll find out that the two hour chunk of time when you mindlessly watch TV after school could be better used. You love to read but never seemingly have time. Perhaps swap out the TV time (when nothing good is on) for reading time.
It’s also important to schedule in time for things you love to do. While juggling school, work and activities, it’s easy to feel burnt out. To avoid feeling overwhelmed, make sure to do things for yourself. If you love to hike, write in your planner that you’re going hiking with your friends on Saturday. By scheduling activities for yourself, you’re more likely to stick to them. It may seem silly to schedule out your free time, but it can be very helpful in finding a balance!
Keep in mind that everyone is different and it’s important to find a methodology that works best for you. It’s also essential to remember that “finding a balance” will always be a work in progress – but it ultimately pays off. By starting to figure out what your personal balance style is now, you’re only helping your future self!