“Let’s Chat” is my Discussion series on Willa’s Ramblings, where I talk about things on all topics – life, books, music, and pretty music anything under the sun! Please let me know in comments or on Twitter what you think and let’s chat!
Today on “Let’s Chat”: The Balancing Act
Finding a balance in life is difficult no matter how old you are, but I think that teenagers definitely struggle with it the most. As a teen you’re trying to balance school (which, let’s face it, can take an overwhelming amounts of time and is basically a job), family, friends, a job for some people, and afterschool activities. At times, it can get to be too much.
When I started blogging, I was a seventh grader. You have practically no obligations as a seventh grader, and I definitely didn’t grasp how busy I would become in the coming years. Now, as a junior in high school (almost senior) I’ve can look back and see how much I’ve had to balance over the years. It’s taught me a lot about not only what I can take on, but also how to do everything I want to do.
My activities list:
- School (9AM-4:30PM)
- Homework (2+ hours/night)
- Working out – Swimming on Tuesday, Thursdays, and Sundays (I quit club and am doing Masters at the Y) and other days it’s me and the treadmill.
- Job – lifeguarding at Y right now about once a week, but I’ve recently gotten a job as a bookseller at Barnes and Noble!
- Blogging – both Lit Up Review & Willa’s Ramblings the amount of time this occupies depends on the day
- Newspaper (one after school meeting a week)
- Swim Team (September-January)
- Youth and Government Club (September-January) – once a week meeting
- BookPeople Teen Press Corps (meeting once a month)
As you can see, it can get a bit overwhelming.
Thankfully, I’ve learned how to make it all work for me. Right now, here’s an average day during the week for me.
- 6-6:30AM – Wake up, work on some homework/blogging/emails/reading, depending.
- 8AM – Arrive at school. Work on homework and studying or hang out with friends until 9.
- 9AM-4:30PM – School. Work on some studying as time allows.
- 5-6PM – Gym
- 6-7PM – Shower/eat dinner and start homework
- 7-9PM – Homework
- 9:15/30-10PM – Reading
- 10PM – Sleep
For me, this works. I’m able to fit in blogging in the morning or evenings, and I get all my homework done along with studying. I’m also able to get at least eight hours of sleep which is a MUST have. I’m not a caffeine drinker, so without adequate sleep I’m a zombie who falls asleep during Pre-Calculus. (Not fun.)
Blogging has forced me to figure out how to balance my life while also fitting in things I love. I read every night which allows me to fall asleep easier AND get blogging reading done, so it’s a win-win. This schedule has taken a lot of finagling and trying out different techniques, but I’ve finally found something that works well. I’ve done the going-to-sleep-at-midnight thing and it just doesn’t work for me. I hate being exhausted and I can’t focus during school which drives me up the wall. 10 is my sweet spot, so it’s going to be permanent, I think.
I know this is totally unrelated to anything else I blog about, but I think it’s interesting to talk about. Balancing life takes practice and time, and it’s always interesting to see how people do it.
So how to do you balance your time? What’s your secret to keeping yourself sane?
Keep an eye out for a discussion about my organization techniques – there’s a post coming soon!