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Finding School-Life Balance: What to Keep in Mind

Mental Health & Self Love

January 07, 2022

Most students are aware of the importance of maintaining a healthy balance between school and their personal lives. But, with overwhelming assignments, homework, and tests requiring students' time, achieving a balance between school and your personal life is challenging and seemingly impossible. Attaining a healthy balance between school and self-care is not easy, and I can attest to this.

However, once you do reach a school-life balance, you'll be extremely pleased that you took the time to do so. Don't forget: your mental health is more important than a test or a homework assignment. You are worth more than a letter grade on an assessment. While trying your best in school is important, remembering that you come before your studies is key to attaining a balance.

Make Time In Your Day To Relax

Though easier said than done, it is vital to have downtime at the end of your busy school day. Even if you have tons of homework left to finish, you need to take some time, as much time as your schedule allows, to simply be in the present and to enjoy yourself. Do something that you love.

Do something that allows you to forget about tests and quizzes for just a moment. Do something that grounds you. Playing for ten minutes with your pet after studying for a long period of time is an example of what your first step to achieving a school-life balance can look like.

Every night, I save an hour for myself to just relax. Whether I spend my time watching an episode of Gilmore Girls or listening to music, I am unwinding after a long day. This, above all else, is essential to a healthy balance between school and your personal life.

On the days where the amount of homework you still have to check off your to-do list is too overwhelming to step away from, make sure to do at least one thing that will calm you. Maybe this is playing some music while finishing an English paper. Or, maybe this includes making yourself your favorite dinner.

Not only will taking time to be in the present boost your mental well-being, but doing so can also lead to better focus when completing your homework. It is now wise to study for hours and hours on end without taking a break. Taking a few moments to step away from your work will make it easier to focus and finish your homework efficiently.

Understand When And Where You Work Best

There are some people who are extremely productive in the morning. So, going to bed early and waking up before school to complete work is the smart decision for them. But, for others, working at night is when they are most efficient, and so, they should reserve time at night to complete assignments. Once you recognize when you work best, you will begin finishing your homework and assignments more efficiently, which will make room in your day to relax.

Aside from when you work best, you must find out where you work best. I always love to study and complete work at my school's library. For others, doing work on their couch at home is where they feel most comfortable.

Work where you know you will be most productive. By working at the right time and place, your homework and assignments will begin to feel much less burdensome and overwhelming.

Don't Pressure Yourself To Always Do More

Undoubtedly, I am the type of person who always wants to add more to your schedule. Let's say I have a light homework day, with only a few assignments to complete. After about two hours, I am done with all my school work for the day.

I spend another hour working on my extracurricular activities. At 6:00, I have absolutely nothing left to do. For some, having lots of time on their hands is great.

But, for me, having nothing to do feels uncomfortable. Since students are used to constantly working, when they have nothing left to work on, they may not know what to do with themselves. On days where I have little homework, I often have the desire to keep working. However, once you finish all of the tasks you wanted to complete for the day, learning to stop working is key.

Not pressuring myself to always do more is still challenging. But, I am challenging myself to learn to love downtime.

Stop Striving for Perfection

Achieving your standard of perfectionism is impossible. For some students, there always seems to be an element of their homework assignment that they can improve. But, if you find yourself constantly striving for perfection, you will inevitably burn out. Remember, if perfection is your goal, you will never be satisfied with yourself or the work you complete.

Simply strive to do your best on every assignment. Take pride in your work. But, don't hold yourself to a ridiculous standard that you will unavoidably fail.

Remind Yourself That You Are Only Human

Pushing yourself to your limits is a mistake and one that will negatively impact your mental and physical well-being. If you are drained and exhausted, you will not get work done efficiently. Don't work until you can barely keep your eyes open.

Don't work after you lose all focus. Don't work when you can be doing more productive activities, including self-care.

Reaching a school-life balance is challenging for students. But, prioritizing your mental health is vital to being happy. To be a better person and student, you must learn how to prioritize yourself no matter the circumstances. Remember that self-care is just as, if not more, productive than working on homework and studying for tests.

Sophene Avedissian
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Sophene Avedissian is a sophomore in high school. She writes for her school newspaper, Spyglass, the Los Angeles Times High School Insider, and the Youth Civics Initiative. During her free time, Sophene enjoys reading, playing soccer, and spending time with family and friends.