Making Time for Yourself
Balance is diffcult to come by.
I look up from my book to see the clock reading 1:15 am. Although my mind is tired, I know that I must plug along and stay awake in order to finish everything that has to be completed in the last weeks of the term. The final projects and a multitude of assessments all food my mind, creating a spiral of worry about my grades and impending summer endeavors. Instead of being outside, enjoying the sunshine and playing Frisbee with friends, I have dedicated myself to my AP review books and the library. Nothing is wrong with either of those options; many, instead, want to have both at once. While it is impossible to be completely on one side or another, I found out, while annotating my English book in the early hours of the morning, that I need to find balance in my life.
On the outside, balance may seem easy to achieve, but in actuality, additional pressure to succeed and be a part of every- thing makes it nearly impossible. During May and early June, the academic pressure is immense, making many students cast out friends and spend time away from family in order to fnish the work that ‘must’ get done.
The usage of ‘must’ instead of ‘should’ differentiates the types of students working in the last few months of the term. People often have to fgure out how to spend a free period by deciding between cramming for a test in two periods or having a meaningful conversation with friends about fun spring events or what each person liked about a speaker from Assembly. As individuals, we may want to enjoy the final spring moments, but in reality, we prioritize going through the vocabulary quizlet one more time instead. While there is nothing wrong with either option, the mere fact that we choose our studies, even though time has already been devoted to studying for hours before in the evening, showcases our lack of balance as individuals. Making time to for ourselves is a key part of fnding said balance. Laurie Santos, a psychology professor at Yale, agrees and created a class at the university across the way on what The Washington Post describes as the “psychology of living a joyful, meaningful life.” As a teacher, she challenged her students to make changes in their own lives, whether big or small. Santos cancelled class one day, asking students to stop worrying about their grades and all of the work that was piling on, just for one hour.
During the last few weeks, I took on Santos’ challenge. The springtime is fllled with amazing things outside of the walls of Malone or Baldwin. The flowers are in full bloom and most days, the sun is shining and one can chat on the Quad or just read a book in daylight, instead of at one in the morning. Each fnal exam is just one and a half or two hours of life. AP exams are a mere memory. The grades from these exams should not be the defning factor of your high school career. Ask seniors about their favorite part of their Hopkins experience. They almost never talk about a grade they received on a Math test or how well they made their argument during English class. They describe the relationships they had with their friends, and the fun experiences that they had with them.
It is difficult to fnd balance in our lives. Between intense coursework, extracurricular activities and trying to find enough hours in a day to sleep, many Hopkins students, myself included, are tired and ready for the long awaited summer vacation. Take time this summer to read enjoy to get lost in a world completely separate from their own. Enjoy family vacations to refuel for whatever your next step may be, whether that is another year on The Hill, a year starting a brand new school, or a year of personal activities. Continue to take the time to shape your own life, rather than let life shape you.