People often think college is the most challenging, busiest, most rewarding time of your life (don’t worry, we believe life is better every year). There are org meetings, studying, internships, class time, group project work, jobs, and much more. That sounds pretty busy, but it is not true that these students have not experienced “busyness” before. High school is no walk in the park for most students. If it is, you should be looking for more ways to challenge yourself. For the students worrying about how to balance your time and high school life, we have some tips for you.
It’s important to consider what implications picking up a job or activity will have. Consider the amount of time your job or extracurricular will take up from your week. Will there be enough time for homework and studying? With a job or extracurricular, consider what skills you are trying to gain from this experience. It may be that you’re trying to learn time management by juggling multiple responsibilities, experience having a supervisor, building working relationships, professionalism, conflict management, problem-solving, or a specific skill you can only acquire from the activity- like woodworking, waitressing, blogging, etc.
Knowing the value of the activities and the practical constraint it puts on your time will help reassure yourself when conflict arises. Although learning to work on a deadline and being punctual are important skills, it may be best to have a flexible employer at this time. If a school issue comes up, will they allow that to take precedence?
Communicate with your friends and family about your schedule. A support system is very important when balancing multiple priorities. If they are aware of your schedule, they’ll be more likely to not try and schedule with you over a preexisting event, which can become stressful.
Ease into your job. If possible, try to start with a few hours so you can get a sense for how your new schedule will feel. Don’t overwhelm yourself from the beginning.
Plan as far in advance as possible. This will eliminate many issues and responses such as “I’m not sure, I’ll have to wait to see my work schedule and let you know.” This is unavoidable sometimes depending on your job, but if you can have a regular, set schedule it would allow easier planning.
Use your time efficiently. Before you had a job and other extracurriculars you might have spent your study hall or slow periods chatting with friends. Instead, use this time to focus on completing homework and studying for the next test. This will save you stress so when you get home from work, you can relax, eat, sleep, or whatever you choose rather than cram and stress out about school.
If you’ve decided to take on a part-time job, join a club, or participate in a sport in high school, good for you! You will build relationships, gain valuable experience, and prepare yourself for the rigors of time management in college. Let this time be one of excitement and activity rather than viewing it as overwhelming. We wish you the best!