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    How to Find School Life Balance

    Posted April 7, 2022, 10:00 am by Camille Roney

    Balancing Life and School - How Do You Juggle it All? 

    Among all the things that we are taught in high school, how to make the most of the time we have is not something that most of us come across. However, school-life balance is one of the most important things for teens like you to understand as you look forward to college or your career.

    As many of you frantically do your best to earn as many volunteer hours or work experience as possible, juggle a full athletic schedule, and contribute to other responsibilities outside the classroom, it’s hard not to let that impact your grades. I’ve done things the hard way, so let me show you how you can submit a competitive application without sacrificing your sanity.

    An alarm clock sits on a pink background - school life balance is hard with only so many hours

    Value-Based Time Blocking

    Let me introduce you to a strategy I call ‘Value-Based Time Blocking.’ In essence, the goal is to discover what your core values are and ensure that your schedule is a direct reflection of that. What I want to emphasize is that the key isn’t to spend the most amount of time on what you personally value as most important - instead, I urge you to objectively consider how much time you actually need to be spending in each area of your life to feel satisfied.

    Here’s an example: let’s say that you need volunteer experience in a given field to apply for your dream program. Instead of diving head-first into volunteering full-time without considering whether or not you actually enjoy the experience, consider how frequently and for how long you genuinely want to be volunteering. You may realize that volunteering a few hours once a week is enough for you to gain the experience you need without it negatively impacting your grades.

    To get started, dump as many of your personal values onto a scrap piece of paper as you can. Once you have at least 20, highlight or underline your top 5. If you’re struggling with this, consider which values you couldn’t live a life you love without it. Next, consider all that you would like to accomplish within the next given time period. In comparing what you’d like to do and your top 5 values, scratch out anything that doesn’t align with most (if not each) of these values.

    Finally, I want you to consider how much quality time you want to spend solely focused on each task as it relates to your values. Do you really need to spend an hour exercising every day, or could you reach the same desired outcome of tending to your health in 10 minutes while being fully present?

    Teen boy sits frustrated by school in front of a laptop

    Conclusions: School Life Balance Takes Work

    The key takeaway that I want to present to you is that how we use our time is a choice. We can try to do a million things all at once, but the quality of each task will undoubtedly suffer. You can choose to do only a few things, and if you make the conscious decision to show up fully present and to enjoy the process, your outcomes will reflect that.

    Let this be a warm reminder that you don’t have to do all the things, especially not all at once. You can still earn competitive grades and have a fulfilling life outside the classroom, but it has to be a choice. I hope that you are reminded of this time and time again as you progress in your studies! School life balance is possible, but it takes some hard work and mindfulness.

    Your time is finite, so use it in alignment with your unique values and enjoy the process!

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    Camille Roney

    Camille Roney

    Camille is a certified Academic Life Coach whose work has appeared in the New York Journal, Quizlet, MD Femme, Motivate MD, and more. She empowers students to earn competitive grades while actually ENJOYING the process and overcoming obstacles that may be impacting how they show up in their academics. You can connect with Camille at her website or on Instagram @thelearningmom

    Tags: For Students