Junior Enya Burrow thinks that balance between social life and school life is possible but that the idea of what balance really means differs from person to person.
She knows that, depending on the person, balance may look different to everyone.
“Yes, absolutely [balance] differs from person to person,” Enya said. “Everyone gets different amounts of work or has different amounts of free time.”
She believes that balance is not necessarily black and white, because there are so many things you factor into people’s lives.
For her, she tends to focus more on schoolwork rather than friends or family, but she doesn’t necessarily think this is a bad thing.
“Even though I care about my friends, I focus my attention on school so that I don’t disappoint anyone,” Enya said.
Many students would agree with Enya that they unintentionally spend more time thinking about school than they do a social life.
One of those students is freshman Lucas Thompson. He feels that, after being part of the Forest Hills district for ten years, he has learned that he needs to put school first in order to maintain his idea of balance.
“I often struggle with balance,” Lucas said, “Personally, as a student, I feel I have to put much more time into school than I can into the ones I love to see or hang out with.”
Lucas often finds himself wishing people didn’t get judged by their grades. He believes that if people were instead based more on personality rather than a letter, then people would be in a lot better moods.
“I wish I could say I don’t [let grades impact my mood], but my grades always have a spot in the back of my head,” Lucas said. “Grades are everything. It’s just how people think of you.”
For this reason, Lucas and other students like Enya have had to shift their perspective on balance so that school comes first. It’s almost as if balance to them is off-balance, but not all students are like this.
For example, junior Emily Brom seems to have mastered a system of balance that works best to fit her life and her expectations of herself.
She says that finding her balance between social life, school, and sports was a real journey for her but one that she now has a relatively good grip on.
Emily’s organization and planning skills have allowed her to spend time with her friends each week while still having outstanding grades.
She says that part of her organization stems from setting high academic goals for herself, but it has also helped in maintaining a life outside of the academic world.
“I try to ensure that I make time for friends and myself throughout the week,” Emily said. “This is made possible through planning at least a week ahead. Sitting down to look at a planner once a week decreases the likelihood to feel overwhelmed or stressed and allows you to balance your social life with school and time for yourself.”
Her organizational skills has allowed her to advance in all aspects of her life, but it was a process that took three years of high school to become fully developed.
Emily believes that balance should be based off of what you value most, and this is something that you have to figure out with time. Everyone comes into highschool with high expectations of themselves, but only the ones that stay focused on what’s most important to them are the ones that are going to end up following through with those expectations.
“Finding balance requires a trial and error process, and you have to accept that you aren’t going to master this skill at first,” Emily said. “As you get older, you begin to discover yourself and what you value most which will enable you to more easily prioritize and organize your life.”
Emily has found out that what is important to her is getting into medical school, so she, just like the other students, has had to adjust her perspective on balance to better accommodate her own needs.
She does work extremely hard to achieve this goal, and she will continue to work hard towards this goal until she receives her acceptance letter, but that is because that’s what makes her happy.
Just as how Lucas values his grades and how Enya doesn’t want to disappoint people, all students have a little voice in the back of their brains readjusting their outlook on life to better fit their own inner expectations of themselves.
As students, friends, and athletes, they have to adjust there perspective to fulfill there needs and to meet there own inner balance. This is something that no one can achieve for them; it’s a choice they must make for themselvesselves.
“There is a line between temporary happiness and long-term happiness, and it’s necessary that you decide how you can achieve long-term happiness,” Emily said. “For me, that means getting into medical school, which puts studying at the top of my priorities. Staying on the path to achieving this goal requires resilience and self-control, and I often have to sacrifice temporary happiness.”