The Art Of Balance
Like many things, school is a balancing act.
Balance keeps us sane and allows us to thrive at school and at home. Throughout the school year, we want to do it all, but between clubs, schoolwork, sports, and family commitments, it is nearly impossible to fit as many things into our schedules as we would like.
We are often caught up in this tornado of school and activities, and we forget to leave a little time for ourselves. As students, we need to create balance between activities and school work, but also between our lives at school and our lives at home. This can look different for everyone; some thrive on four hours of sleep while others need more down time. Yet, regardless of personal differences, it is crucial to leave some time for ourselves throughout the school year.
During my time at Hopkins, I have certainly fallen into this trap and I know how detrimental this can be in the long term. When I’m sitting in my room planning out my courses and year it is easy for me to imagine myself taking all the classes I want to take and still being happy and awake, but in reality I need time for myself and time to be with my family. We all have limits and while overstretching ourselves can work for a day or two, and even feel fun at times, in the long term it is not sustainable.
Learning to prioritize our commitments and activities can be challenging. Many times we fall into the trap of quantity over quality, running from place to place attempting to be at fve different clubs during activities period. No one can be in fve different places at once and sometimes it is better to simply dig into two or three activities on a deeper level than to overstretch ourselves in ways that can be unhealthy.
All too often we get so caught up in school that we lose valuable perspective on the world. How do we fnd a balance between challenging ourselves academically and running ourselves into the ground? It can become a vicious cycle all too easily: I love learning so I challenge myself academically, but this academic challenge sometimes outshines the love of learning. There is a fine line between providing ourselves with a genuine, healthy challenge and over-committing ourselves.
The beginning of the year presents a fresh start for all of us. Whether it is your sixth year on the hill or your first, September is a fresh start, a new beginning, a new opportunity to attempt the balancing act and to challenge yourself not only academically or athletically, but also to challenge yourself to be happy, to go outside and to have some fun!