A Balancing Act

balance, macro, oceanTeenage life is a balancing act to the max. 

You have 6-7 classes to study intensely, clubs you’re passionate about, a sport to practice daily, colleges and scholarships to research/apply to, and you’re somehow expected to maintain a pristine social life, get enough sleep, and eat properly in all this chaos. 

With all the chaos, we must ask the question plaguing teenagers across the globe: is it possible to do it all?
 
There’s no clear answer to this question. Everyone is different, has different schedules, and value different things. With so much to do, and not enough time, we are forced to entertain the dreaded concept of prioritization
 
On a given day, week, month, or even year, you may prioritize something different. Perhaps last week you made a lot of plans with your friends, but this week you’ll spend most of your time outside of school studying. Maybe you need to shift your priorities when there’s a tragedy in your family and you need to be there for them. Maybe you get a stroke of inspiration and every given moment of your time is dedicated to a piece of art you choose to create. 
 
The key to this, which I’ve observed many students are struggling with, is knowing when to prioritize what. The reality of our lives is that we can’t give 100% of our commitments 100%. Maybe you think you’re on top of everything, then you reevaluate and you realize you haven’t been keeping up with an area of your life. You won’t know unless you take the time to evaluate, so the answer of what to do with this predicament is relatively simple: evaluation. 
 
Students need to come back to reevaluate their decisions and priorities in a consistent and authentic. Step back, take a look at everything you’re doing and inevitably not doing. Seeing these things for what they are, and evaluate if what you’re spending your time on makes you feel happy and fulfilled. If the answer to this is no, it’s time to make a priority shift. 
 
Of course, there are sometimes things you have to do, have to prioritize, that don’t necessarily make you feel happy and fulfilled. Homework, for instance, is a common grievance among high school students. Learning to tolerate, or even love, homework is another topic, but perhaps when you reevaluate and find that you are dreading homework and procrastinating it for other things, you can learn to find something meaningful in the seemingly useless grunt work teachers give you. Find the purpose in everything you do, including homework. But, I digress. The point is that just because something made you happy or fulfilled at one point, does not mean it will always be that way. That’s the importance of having reevaluations, so you can identify these things before you go into “robot mode” – a mode where you’re just doing it to do it and you have no feeling or passion behind it. 
 
I’ve struggled with this so-called “robot mode”. I like to make plans and stick to them, sometimes neglecting the fact that sometimes those goals and plans need an adjustment. I stick with something even if it’s not serving me, or I need to prioritize other things, because I said that I would do it. Although it is important to stick to your goals so you can achieve them, rather than being shifty and never getting anything done, it’s also important to reevaluate these goals. 
 
Every second you spend is a decision. It’s prioritizing exactly what you’re doing over everything else you could be doing. 
 
This might seem a bit overwhelming, at first glance. But, I encourage you to see it as empowering. Like I said, it’s a balancing act. You choose what to balance and how. 
 
❤ Alicia 

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