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How did you balance academics, extracurricular activities, and personal time during your junior year?

I am a raise Jr in high school, trying to balance my grades, GPA, test scores and extracurricular activities, while also trying to keep my social/personal life balanced. All of this is pretty hard to do at once.

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Melissa’s Answer

Hi Tiffany, it's great that you're seeking advice on this important skill! Based on my experience in school, and now as a parent of high schoolers, I recommend starting with your goals. What's important to you as you prioritize what to do and what NOT to do in any given week? As you sharpen your goals, come up with some rules-of-thumb for yourself to apply when you're facing conflicts or trade-offs. For example, how do you choose between an important social event that happens at the same time as a sports competition. Try to write your rules when you're NOT facing them, so you don't bias yourself. Then keep refining those rules as you go along until you're really confident that you know how to de-prioritize and re-prioritize as needed. Above and beyond all, listen to your body and know your stress signals. If you're too stressed, you definitely won't be at your best, so consider reducing your commitments so you can be great at fewer things rather than good at a lot of things.
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Bonnie’s Answer

Hello Tiffany, your question is quite profound, but it's something that becomes clearer as you progress in your career and mature in life. Given that you're still in high school, I strongly recommend concentrating on your studies and extracurricular activities, as these are key stepping stones to your next big adventure - college. Allocating time for social activities is a matter of personal discretion, but if you can manage it, I wholeheartedly suggest you do so to maintain a balanced lifestyle. However, if you find yourself stretched thin and have other obligations related to your academics or school activities, prioritize those first. Once you have a firm grasp on your priorities, everything else will fall into place. Best of luck!
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Mark Gabriel R.’s Answer

I believe this is a skill that needs to be built, as it is something we all went through.

When trying to balance and not get overwhelmed in undergrad, a upperclassmen advised me to write down every part of what I did during each day, and see what was needed and what wasn't.

Then, I learned to use a planner, as well as a to-do list (now I just do all that on google calendar). Start by strictly planning out your days, and see how you fare. You will start to see what you can and cannot get done, as well as how much time and effort went into everything. Your to do list will then help you prioritize tasks, as some things aren't due for months (but will be come fires if you let them linger), while other things need to get done now.

As you practice this, your ability to schedule and time manage will grow. Seeing what you have to do now vs later will help prevent you from getting overwhelmed, versus just training balancing all things - all the time. Further, you will be able to better value what activities are worth your time, and what events you will have to limit or eliminate, to get all your necessities done.

Hope this helps.
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Alexandra’s Answer

I agree it is definitely hard to balance it all. It is important to remember to take care of yourself during all of this. Self care is super important and if you run yourself down, you won't be able to accomplish things to the best of your ability. Remember to get a good nights sleep and try again in the morning, rather than pulling an all nighter.
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