This is a guest blog post written by our campus ambassador Amanda Lien.
While browsing Twitter the other day, I came across a thread that discussed the unreasonable limits typically placed on high schoolers’ time. As a recent high school graduate, I could empathize and sympathize with this post. I was fortunate enough to be homeschooled up until 11th grade but I did have to get a job as soon as I turned 16 for economic reasons. For the last two years of high school, I balanced high school and community college courses with working 25-30 hours a week to save for those expensive college textbooks, my own car (and all the expenses a vehicle entails), clothing, bus passes and any recreational spending.
So how did I manage myself, my time, and my energy during this hectic time? Well, here are five things I did to help bolster my success (and how they can help you too).
- Make Time for Homework- I always like to say, “the best start is an early start.” If you know ahead of time when projects, assignments and papers will be due, don’t put them off. Procrastination did nothing but heap even more stress on me when I was in high school and, whether you admit it or not, it’ll be the same for you. We already have enough stress in our everyday lives. Why make it worse?
- Keep a Careful Planner- I wrote a post on my personal blog all about how I organized my planner in high school and it was a huge hit. So many of us buy planners with the best intentions but we never use them. Now’s the time. Find a system that works for you and use those techniques to reduce your stress and balance your time. It doesn’t have to look pretty. It just has to work.
- Practice Positive Self-Talk- Nothing is ever accomplished by negativity. My mother loves to tell me that “if you can’t say nothing nice, don’t say anything at all” and that’s not just about how you speak to others. You must be gentle with yourself, lest you talk yourself into not wanting to try at all. Practice telling yourself that you can do something, that you will do your best no matter what, and over time, you’ll be amazed at the difference it makes!
- Volunteer for the World and for You- Find an extracurricular or a volunteer gig that you love. When I was in college, I volunteered as a sound technician at my church. I worked with cool equipment and quirky guys, ate good food and learned new things, and for a while I wasn’t stressing out about assignments and due dates. While the goal of volunteering is to give, you do also receive.
- Take Care of Yourself- Exercise. Read something you enjoy for 15 minutes before bed. Journal to relieve stress. You are not a machine and you’re not good for anything if you’re burnt out on everything you have to do because you didn’t take time to do what you want to do.
Whether you’re in high school, college, or somewhere in-between, I hope you find something helpful from this guide. I wish you all the best of luck now and in the future.